Chinese Name: 旺堆 Pinyin Name: Wangdui Age At Time Of Detention: 42 Conviction: Espionage Sentence Date: October 27, 2008 Sentence Length: Life sentence Held In: Drapchi Expected Release: Life sentence Status: Imprisoned
Background: Wangdu was an NGO health worker who worked for an Australian public health NGO. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of “espionage,” according to a report published in November 2008 in the Chinese press. Five co-defendants were sentenced from 10 to 15 years for “providing intelligence” to the “Dalai clique,” including Migmar Dhondup (see below), who was sentenced to 14 years. A former monk, Wangdu was sentenced to three years ‘re-education through labor’ having participated in protests in Lhasa in 1989, although he was then sentenced to a total of eight years imprisonment for signing a petition while in the labor camp insisting Tibet was independent prior to China’s invasion.
Chinese Name: 坦科加错 Pinyin Name: Tanke Jiacuo Age At Time Of Detention: 31 Conviction: Inciting Separatism Sentence Date: May 21, 2009 Sentence Length: 15 years Held In: Unknown prison in Gansu Province Expected Release: May 2023 Status: Imprisoned Known Health Issues: Reportedly “half-paralyzed” following beatings
Background: On May 21, 2009, the Gannan Intermediate People’s Court reportedly sentenced Thabkhe Gyatso to 15 years in prison for “endangering state security” (TCHRD). RFA reported in July 2009 that officials barred Beijing-based lawyer Li Fangping from providing legal counsel to the monks. RFA reported in March 2010, based on Thabkhe Gyatso’s official verdict document, that he protested on March 14, 2008, was detained on March 22, and was sentenced for “splittism” under Art. 103 of China’s Criminal Law. TCHRD reported in 2011 that a visitor described Thabkhe Gyatso as “half-paralyzed and is suffering from weak eyesight.” The report said Thabke Gyatso was in a prison about 100km from Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu..
Chinese Name: 岗吉·志巴加 Pinyin Name: Gangji Zhiba Jia Age At Time Of Detention: 39 Conviction: Unknown Sentence Date: May 21, 2009 Sentence Length: 15 years Held In: Unknown prison in Gansu Province Expected Release: May 2023 Status: Imprisoned Known Health Issues: Unknown
Background: Writer Gangkye Drubpa Kyab or Gang Metak was detained by Chinese authorities on March 23, 2021, around 5:30 p.m. (local time) from his home in Serta county, eastern Tibet. The reasons for his detention are known and there been no information about his current whereabouts.
His best-known works, such as “Calling from afar-Jangpo,” “Pain in Time-Du-kyi-na-su,” “Today’s Tear-Dari-gi-Michu,” “White-scarf magazine,” and “Worded with Red Blood in 2008,” are on the suffering endured by Tibetans and the 2008. The Chinese PEN Centre, an official affiliate of International PEN, a global association of writers dedicated to freedom of expression and the defense of writers suffering governmental repression, recognizes Gangye Drubpa Kyab as an honorary member.
Serta county police arrested Drubpa Kyab for the first time on February 15, 2012. A Chinese Intermediate People’s Court sentenced the Tibetan writer to five and a half years in jail for his writings, which were accused of “inciting secession” and “sending illicit material outside of China.” On September 16, 2016, he was released from prison. However, on the day of his release, he was accused of wearing a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and was detained for 17 days. He had suffered from serious health conditions, including kidney failure, cardiac problems, vision loss, etc.,then as a result of the torture and beatings he endured in prison.
Gangkye Drubpa Kyab was born on August 6, 1981, in Serthar county, Karze, eastern Tibet, from Rag-Tam-Ge-Phen village. His father’s name is Thupten Nyima, and his mother’s name is Wangthang Dolma. With his wife Wangshu Lhamo, he has a 16-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son.
Chinese Name: 益西曲珍 Pinyin Name: Yixi Quzhen Age At Time Of Detention: 53 Conviction: Espionage Sentence Date: November 7, 2008 Sentence Length: 15 years Held In: Drapchi prison, Lhasa prefecture, TAR Expected Release: November 7, 2023 Status: Imprisoned
Background: Yeshe Choedron, a retired doctor from Lhasa, was arrested in March 2008. On November 7, 2008, the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Yeshe Choedron to 15 years imprisonment after being convicted for “espionage” for allegedly providing “intelligence and information harmful to the security and interests of the state” to “the Dalai clique’s security department,” according to the official Lhasa Evening News.
Chinese Name: 洛珠加措 Pinyin Name: Luozho Jiacuo Age At Time Of Detention: 57 Conviction: Unknown Sentence Date: 2018 Sentence Length: 18 years Held In: Tibet Autonomous Region Expected Release: 2036 Status: Imprisoned
Background: Lodoe Gyatso—also known as Sogkhar Lodoe Gyatso because of his home area of Sog (Chinese: Suo) county, Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu), the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)—was secretly sentenced to 18 years in prison after marching around the Potala Palace holding a portrait of the Dalai Lama and carrying out a demonstration for world peace.
In a video recorded before his demonstration, Lodoe drew attention to Tibet’s history of nonviolence, saying: “For thousands of years, we have worked for world peace through peaceful means and Middle Way approach, based on the principle of interdependence and nonviolent behavior, an example is the vision of Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso [the Dalai Lama].”
Lodoe has already spent more than two decades in a Chinese prison following a prior solo protest. On that occasion, in 1995, Lodoe shouted slogans such as “Tibet is independent!” “China should leave Tibet!” “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!” and “All the 6 million Tibetans are united!” He also distributed handwritten pamphlets and posters that read: “Tibetans have been under Chinese rule for 36 years and on this day, to commemorate the Tibetan independence struggle, I represent the entire Tibetan people.”