Undeterred by multiple detentions, police manhandling and other forms of cruel treatment, Gonpo Kyi staged a sit-in again on Feb. 20, 2024 in front of the Higher People’s Court of the Tibet Autonomous Region in Lhasa, seeking justice for her brother, Dorjee Tashi, who is serving a life sentence in Drapchi Prison.

After their last protest in front of the same court, Gonpo and her husband, Choekyong, were taken into detention on Dec. 13, 2023. Gonpo was released after around eight days of detention, while her husband was released after five days.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the authorities of Lhasa had been attempting to expel Gonpo and her husband from Lhasa back to their native hometown of Labrang (Chinese: Xiahe) in Gansu Province to prevent them from staging further protests in front of the Higher People’s Court.

In the latest video clip obtained by the International Campaign for Tibet, Gonpo can be seen sitting in front of the gate of the Higher People’s Court on Feb. 20, holding a flyer and a portrait of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. In the clip, the flyer written in Chinese that Gonpo holds in her right hand reads: “Dorjee Tashi has not committed any crime.” She also holds a portrait of President Xi Jinping in her lap supported by her left hand. The videographer states that the date of the video is Feb. 20, and the location is the Higher People’s Court of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Compared to her previous sit-ins, Gonpo holding a large portrait of Xi Jinping is a new tactic, presumably indicating she’s appealing for intervention from China’s top leader in accordance with the constitution to defend justice. Holding a portrait of Xi is also tactical as a safeguard against the police and officials forcibly removing her from the spot and putting her into detention again.

The International Campaign for Tibet will continue to monitor the status of Gonpo Kyi.

Dorjee Tashi

ICT has previously documented the torture of the renowned Tibetan businessman and philanthropist Dorjee Tashi during his pre-trial detention, as well as his family’s tireless advocacy for justice.

Both the United States and the European Union have raised concerns about the arbitrary detention of Dorjee Tashi. Notably, the European Union called for his immediate and unconditional release, along with the release of others, during its statement on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10.

The United States also acknowledged the detention of Dorjee Tashi in its 2022 and 2021 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Read ICT’s past coverage of Dorjee Tashi’s imprisonment and his sister Gonpo Kyi’s activism for justice.