Tortured Tibetan women released in Ngaba, man expected to be sentenced

Dharamsala, June 1 – Two Tibetan women arrested on April 22 in the clash between Tibetans and Chinese troops near Kirti monastery have been released after nearly a month in detention, a Tibetan source with contacts in Ngaba said. Choko, 45, of Trinchen Tsang house in Thawa Gongma Township, and Serkyi, 35, daughter of Lokle Trakho of Thawa Gongma Township, were released on May 17. The two had been severely tortured in detention and their heads shaved, the source said, adding that they physical condition is critical. 

The two were among hundreds of Tibetans who had camped near the Kirti monastery to protect the monks from being taken away by the Chinese authorities who had announced on April 12 that monks aged between 18 and 40 would be taken away for compulsory “Patriotic Reeducation. Around 300 monks were forced into military trucks and taken to unknown location on April 22, and two elderly Tibetans among a group camped near the monastery were beaten to death while they tried to stop Chinese security forces from taking the monks away.

Meanwhile, a Tibetan man named Kelsang of the Tragyal Tsang family in Trotsik, who was arrested during the protests in the aftermath of the self-immolation by a Tibetan monk named Phuntsok on March 16, is expected to be sentenced soon. However, it is not known what charges he is facing. 

As Tibetan monasteries and communities in Ngaba, especially Kirti monastery, remain under tight restriction, the Chinese authorities continue to subject monks and local Tibetans to long sessions of ‘Patriotic Reeducation' campaign which requires the Tibetans to denounce the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, among other conditions.

Chinese authorities tightened security and its stranglehold on Ngaba in general and the Kirti monastery in particular since Phuntsok's death that sparked off protests by Tibetans and a massive arrest drive by Chinese authorities.

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