Urgent action for imprisoned Tibetan leader

Students for a Free Tibet have issued an urgent action alert for Khenpo Kartse, a respected Tibetan Buddhist abbot and human rights defender imprisoned by Chinese authorities for over six months. He is seriously ill with liver and lung disease, and recent reports state that he has been coughing up blood—but has been denied access to his doctor. The action alert calls for supporters around the world to conctact the local Chinese embassy and express concern for Kartse. Arrested in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in early December, Kartse is being held in the Tibet Autonomous Region's Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) prefecture, in "an extremely cold room with no access to sunlight" and is being inadequately fed, a source close to the case told RFA's Tibetan Service in March. After meeting for the first time with Kartse on Feb. 26, defense lawyer Tang Tian Hao called on Chinese authorities to allow regular medical examinations for the imprisoned monk, "as provided for under the law," the source said. Kartse—who holds the title “Khenpo” denoting a senior religious teacher or abbot—is being held on suspicion of involvement in "anti-state" activities at a monastery in Chamdo. Supporters say Kartse, who is also known as Karma Tsewang, is being persecuted for his work to promote the Tibetan language, culture, and religion. He was also active in social work in the Yulshul area, including in relief efforts following the devastating April 2010 earthquake.

  1. Tibetan writers freed after serving prison terms

    Tibetan writers Jangtse Donkho and Buddha, editors of the banned Tibetan-language journal Shar Dungri or Eastern Snow Mountain, were released June 20 from a prison in Sichuan province after completing their four-year terms on charges of "incitement to split the nation." The charge related to their written commentaries on the deadly repression of protests in 2008. (RFA, June 22)

  2. Tibetan monk released after six years

    A Tibetan monk imprisoned for six years for sharing news of protests has been freed after serving his full term, but is believed to be in poor health and suffering from impaired vision, Tibetan sources told Radio Free Asia. Ngakchung, believed to be 45, was taken into custody in 2008 in Chengdu, Sichuan, while on an errand for the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute, located in Serthar county of Sichuan's Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

    Another Larung Gar monk, Sherkyab, 20, was taken into custody by police on July 9 after launching a solitary protest in Serthar county's main town, a local source told RFA's Tibetan Service. During his protest, Sherkyab shouted slogans calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, also throwing leaflets into the air, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. (RFA, July 15)

  3. China imprisons monk who shouted for Tibet independence

    Sources in Tibet report that a court in the Tibet Autonomous Region has sentenced a Tibetan monk to a 10-year term for shouting slogans "Tibet is an independent country" and "Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama." Sources said Ven Lobsang Gedun, 21, was sentenced after being held in a detention center in Chamdho, Kham region of eastern Tibet  for more than a year. He was reportedly held incommunicado and subject to torture. (Tibet Post, Sept. 18)