The hostile forces have colluded with the clique of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and […] have tried all means to contend for the battlefield, popular feeling and the common people, thus, all their efforts have made Tibet the teeth of the storm in the struggle of the ideological realm.”
– Tibet Autonomous Region Party Secretary Chen Quanguo
Tightening oppression in Tibet, including a new emphasis on ‘counter-terror’ measures, has created a more dangerous political environment for Tibetans in expressing their views.
As a result a new generation of Tibetans is paying a high price with their lives for peaceful expression of views in a political climate in which almost any expression of Tibetan identity or culture not directly sanctioned by the state, no matter how mild, can be characterized by the authorities as “splittist” and therefore “criminal.” Definitions of what constitutes “criminal” activity are deliberately opaque, giving leeway for lower-level officials and security personnel to apply harsh penalties.
This report documents the cases of young generation intellectuals, artists, bloggers, writers and singers who have faced life-altering consequences of torture and imprisonment for conveying their views or simply singing songs. It details the cases of 11 imprisoned writers and intellectuals and 10 singers who have faced persecution and imprisonment, including the following:
“The teeth of the storm” outlines the political context of their imprisonment, and documents how despite the intensified dangers, Tibetans are continuing to take bold steps in asserting their national identity and defending their culture. Tibetan popular music and literature has become an artistic means through which Tibetans define their identity, and as a means of countering the Chinese state.
I. The importance of artistic expression and the political context
In Tibet today, writers, singers and artists play an increasingly important role in the broader community. They express a sense of loss, dispossession and grief about the situation of Tibetans due to China’s repressive policies and the current restrictions. They also celebrate a shared national and cultural identity, encourage a sense of solidarity, and express hope for the future.
The Chinese state has long been aware of artistic expression as a means of influence both in the interests of the Party and against it, and the authorities in Tibetan areas seek to undermine their popularity and influence. Mao Zedong famously referred to a “cultural as well as an armed front”, saying that “[Literature and art] can act as a powerful weapon in uniting and educating the people while attacking and annihilating the enemy.”
More recently, the new space for artistic and other expression of the internet is singled out as being of particular concern in an article published by the People’s Liberation Army Daily on May 12: “Since ancient times, those who won people’s minds won all under heaven. Now, the main battleground to contend for people’s minds has shifted towards the Internet.”
State censorship and suppression of free expression is widespread across the PRC, but since the protests broke out across Tibet in March, 2008, the Chinese government has strengthened attempts to impose an information blackout across Tibet. Leave alone having the freedom to peaceful expression of political opinions, today any public assertion of Tibetan identity even when they are non-political and religious & cultural in nature is being looked upon suspiciously and oftentimes not permitted. Penalties for even low-level information sharing are among the worst in the world.
The Chinese suppression of Tibetan freedom of expression is most visible in the form of the clampdown against any act of reverence to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Even though the Dalai Lama ruled over only around half of the traditional Tibetan area politically before the Chinese Communist takeover, historically, Tibetans from all over Tibet regard him as their spiritual leader. They have had no problems expressing this aspect of their relationship, most concretely in the possession and display of the Dalai Lama’s portraits in the monasteries and homes.
The dangers have worsened in the context of the new drive against counter-terror. Together with the National Security Law that is expected to be implemented this year, a proposed new law currently in draft form outlines a counter-terrorism structure with vast discretionary powers. The conflation of “terrorism” with religious “extremism” in the law gives scope for the penalization of almost any peaceful expressions of Tibetan identity, acts of non-violent dissent, or criticism of ethnic or religious policies. The draft law represents an escalation in an expansive ‘counter-terrorism’ drive launched by the government following the killings in Xinjiang that has increasingly targeted Tibetans, despite the absence of any violent insurgency in Tibet.
II. The cultural battleground
In November 2013, the Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region Chen Quanguo wrote an article for a Party journal about the ‘anti-separatist’ struggle that distilled the Chinese Communist Party’s current approach on Tibet, including the drive to obliterate free expression.
“As an ethnic border region, Tibet is at the forefront of the anti-separatist struggle,” Chen wrote in the journal “Quishi” in November, 2013 (“Seeking Truth”). “At present, the exchanges, mingling and contestation among various ideology and culture have become more frequent, in particular, the hostile forces have colluded with the clique of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and have considered Tibet as a key area for infiltration and separatist activities and as the main battlefield for sabotaging and causing disturbances. They have tried all means to contend for the battlefield, popular feeling and the common people, thus, all their efforts have made Tibet the teeth of the storm in the struggle of the ideological realm. Therefore, we have fully realised the extreme importance and urgency of strengthening the work of the ideological realm. We should […] truly shoulder the important political responsibility entrusted to us by the Party and the people.”
The CCP’s imperative to strength the work of the ‘ideological’ realm emerges from its strategic and economic objectives in Tibet. The Chinese authorities prioritise infrastructure construction and resource exploitation as key elements of its strategies to integrate Tibet into the PRC, casting Tibetan support for the Dalai Lama and protection of Tibetan national identity as obstacles to its elaborate ambitions to re-shape the Tibetan plateau for its own purposes and ensure the domination of the Party.
Scholar Tsering Topgyal explains how this ‘hyper-securitization’ of Tibet is institutionalized in practice as follows: “Once an issue becomes associated with open-ended threats like ‘local nationalism’, ‘separatism’, or extremism and gets defined as a threat to any of these referent objects, it enables the Chinese officials at any level of the government to deal with that issue with harsh measures that could be interpreted as violating even the provisions of the Chinese Constitution and the [Regional Ethnic] Autonomy Law.”
The Tibet issue is characterized not only as a “core issue” of the PRC’s territorial sovereignty, but also as a matter of national security, on the frontline of China’s struggle to safeguard national unification. In this context, the cultural and ideological struggle against the ‘Dalai clique’ has been linked specifically with national security. TAR Party chief Chen Guangguo asserted in 2012 that restrictions on communications and social media in Tibet are necessary in order to maintain “national security”. Since then, Xi Jinping has put himself in charge of a National Security Committee that was established during the Third Plenum of the CCP, with one of its main priorities being cyber-security and scrutiny of social media.
These developments represent a consolidation of the “teeth of the storm” struggle not only against collective action such as protests or demonstrations, but also in the Party’s attempts to circumscribe or shut down online civil society. It is a very serious undertaking for the Party state, meaning that no target is too small or too marginal to be worthy of scrutiny in the ‘battlefield’ of public opinion and political authority.
Monk, blogger and environmentalist Kunga Tsayang is one of those individuals who challenged the Party state line on social media. After authoring several essays, including: “Who Is the Real Splittist?”, “Who Is the Real Destroyer of Stability?”, “We Tibetans are the Real Witnesses”, and “Who Is The Real Instigator of Protests?”, Kunga Tsayang was sentenced to five years in prison on November 15, 2009.
An account of his interrogation published by the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy is instructive. TCHRD, based in Dharamsala, was told that three specific essays had been singled out by Kunga Tsayang’s interrogators. When asked what he meant by the essay on Lhasa, he said that while it was true that the government had built a new railway, and new housing, both spiritual and secular life in Lhasa have deteriorated. When Kunga Tsayang was questioned on the contents of his essay, “Where is Our Government?” he responded that the Chinese government had introduced many constitutional provisions, laws and regulations, however, for the autonomous areas, these constitutional provisions had not been implemented.
It is rare to gain such specific insights into the specific lines of enquiry taken by local interrogators against intellectual expression, but the information from Kunga Tsayang points to the often precise nature of the ideological battleground and the authorities’ awareness of the importance of social media in influence over public opinion.
III. A remarkable cultural resurgence and the courage of a new generation
My joy is Buddhism
My joy is the tradition of Tibet
My name is the religious land of Tibet
As a Tibetan, I learn Tibetan
As a Tibetan, I learn Tibetan”
– Lyrics of a song by a popular Tibetan singer
Given the harsh penalties outlined above for expressing oneself in Tibet today, it is all the more remarkable that there has been a resurgence in expression of Tibetan national, religious and cultural identity.
Well-known writer, blogger and poet Tsering Woeser wrote: “To this day, records and critiques written in Tibetan, Chinese and many other languages keep flooding out, and in particular books, magazines, essays and lyrics written in the mother language are emerging. Tibetans living under the Chinese political system are breaking through the silence, and there are more and more instances of these voices being bravely raised, which is encouraging even more Tibetans.”
There has been an unprecedented focus on pan-Tibetan solidarity, without regional differences that have often been the cause of tensions in the past. Some of the lyrics of one of the most popular Tibetan songs, “The Sound of Unity” by Tibetan group Sherten are: “We are the keepers of herds in the nomadic lands of the upper reaches/We are the farmers in the valleys of the low lying lands/O ruddy faced Tibetans/O Tibetans! Unite, unite/If you think of our destiny of tears and laughter/O Tibetans! Unite, unite/Three provinces unite”.
Enmeshed with the anguish of oppression in Tibet is the pain of separation from an exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, and absence of fellow Tibetans in the exile diaspora – a common theme of writings and song in contemporary Tibet.
Writers and singers, using print and the new space accorded by the internet to upload tracks or blogs, have been at the forefront of this vibrant cultural and literary resurgence since 2008, grounded in a strong sense of Tibetan identity. Many of them appear to be motivated by the view that artistic expression should serve people, and bring them together, as the Dalai Lama has expressed when he said last year: “Generally, I believe artists and musicians alike, have the responsibility to serve or to help humanity… So therefore, I think it is the responsibility of all entire humanity, particularly you as a musician or artist, through your own profession, give people hope, a new idea, a sense of responsibility.”
Tibetan scholar Lama Jabb writes: “Popular songs provide a channel for voicing dissent, while also reinforcing Tibetan national identity by evoking images of a shared history, culture, and territory, bemoaning the current plight of Tibetans and expressing aspirations for a collective destiny.”
In daring to refute China’s official narratives on Tibet, this new generation of Tibetans represents a more complex challenge to the ruling authorities. In many cases, while the dangers have intensified, the messages from writers and musicians have become bolder and less ambivalent. “[Tibetan contemporary] songs have progressively become more audacious and expressive over the decades,” writes Lama Jabb. “The coded language and ambiguity of earlier songs have given way to more explicit expressions of nostalgia for past glories and aspirations for their emulation.”
Tibetan singer Tsewang Lhamo is one of many popular artists to focus on the importance of Tibetan language in her songs. In “Tibetan Soul”, she sings: “My life force is the snowy mountains/The blood in my body is the pure water of the snow/My name is land of snows/As a Tibetan, I speak Tibetan As a Tibetan, I speak Tibetan”. Kalsang Yarphel, a Tibetan singer who is serving four years in prison, also sang about the importance of the mother tongue, singing: “Tibetans, we learn Tibetan, speak Tibetan, it is our duty to do so”.
The new forms of cultural expression have been accompanied by a increase in collective endeavours to speak and write in Tibetan, with the formation of “pure land” language groups. But this can also have harsh consequences. A new set of regulations issued in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren), Qinghai, warn that “protecting the mother tongue” can now even be “illegal”. The measures, imposed this year, were the latest indicator of the political climate of impunity and the severity of repressive measures being imposed across Tibet, particularly in areas where there have been peaceful protests or self-immolations, such as Rebkong county in eastern Tibet. Point Four of the Rebkong measures targets Tibetans who have been involved in simply speaking their own language and protecting the environment, stating that one of the 20 “illegal activities” are “organizing illegal groups and illegal movements in the name of ’protecting the mother tongue’, ‘environmental protection’, ‘literacy classes’ etc.”
Czech novelist Milan Kundera wrote: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Through their writings, many Tibetans seek to come to terms with, and preserve the memory of, a shared history. The Tibetan poet Ombar writes: “One life, two lives, three lives…one hundred lives/Incessantly lost and are losing/Therefore we should lament, we should commemorate/Within the crevices of history we should never forget”.
Although less well-known outside the PRC than high-profile Chinese dissidents such as Liu Xiaobo and Hu Jia, many of the Tibetan intellectuals named in this report are famous among Tibetans, and are also enduring long prison terms for peaceful expression.
The level of violence directed at Tibetan political prisoners is frequently extreme and results in Tibetans being left with severe scars following a period of detention, including paralysis, the loss of limbs, organ damage, and serious psychological trauma.
Restrictions are not only applied to the artists themselves, but also those involved with any ‘cultural production’. In 2009, Lhasa’s deputy police chief announced in a press conference that they had just detained 59 “rumour-mongers” for “inciting ethnic feelings” – through the illegal downloading of ‘reactionary’ songs from the internet.
Similarly, the Chinese authorities seek to extend censorship beyond the PRC’s borders. On April 2, 2011, China’s State Council Information Office issued a directive for websites to delete a humorous and popular Youtube video of a song by a Swiss-based Tibetan about meat dumplings, Shapaley. The ruling stated: “All websites, particularly those with video and audio channels, are to look for and delete the song Meat Pancake (Roubing) by Gamahe Danzeng.” While it has a light-hearted tone, the song reflected Tibetan values of respect for elders (“It is good to obey your parents/If your grandmother tells you to buy vegetarian/If your grandpa likes you to pass his walking sticks/You had better do it”) as well as pride in being Tibetan, and determination to protect one’s Tibetan cultural identity, even in exile. “Hey, wake up/even if you live in the West, do not forget that Tibet is where you come from/speak Tibetan and write Tibetan/be proud to be Tibetan.”
Artists and singers in prison: cases
Musicians and singers
Tibetan writers and intellectuals in prison
 From an article published online on November 1, 2013 in the Party journal “Quishi” (“Speaking Truth”) and translated into English thanks to “High Peaks Pure Earth”: http://highpeakspureearth.com/2013/tar-party-secretary-chen-quanguo-on-new-propaganda-and-control-of-social-media-strategy/
 “As a Tibetan, I learn Tibetan” refers to the widespread practice of protecting the Tibetan language by speaking and learning Tibetan. Tibetans have set up ‘pure language’ groups. http://highpeakspureearth.com/2013/tibetan-soul-by-tsewang-lhamo-and-potala-by-kadrak-trayang/
 “Tashi Rabten remembers detained writer Shokjang”, translated by High Peaks Pure Earth and posted on April 6 (2015). http://highpeakspureearth.com/2015/tashi-rabten-remembers-detained-writer-shokjang/
 Tibetan scholar Lama Jabb wrote: “Tibetan popular music, like contemporary literature, is one of the artistic means through which Tibetans imagine themselves as a nation. It is also a mode of subversive narrative that counters the master narrative of Chinese state power and its colonial conception of Tibetan history and society.” ‘Singing the Nation: Modern Tibetan Music and National Identity’ by Lama Jabb, a scholar at Oxford University, in “Revisiting Tibetan Culture and History.” Dharamsala: Amnye Machen 2012, 1-29. This paper was first published online in 5HYXHG¶ (Etudes Tibetaines, No. 21 (Oct 2011), http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/ret/pdf/ret_21_01.pdf. See also https://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/sites/www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/files/Lama%20Jabb%20Publications%20.pdf
 Mao Zedong’s ‘Talk at the Yan’an Conference on Literature and Art’, a translation of the 1943 text with commentary, Bonnie MacDougall 1980, 57-58 Center for Chinese Studies: University of Michigan
 Translated into English by China Copyright and Media, edited by Rogier Creemers: https://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/army-newspaper-we-can-absolutely-not-allow-the-internet-become-a-list-territory-of-peoples-minds/?utm
 For analysis of the new draft law, see ICT report, ‘Alarm at repressive new laws in China on counter-terror, security and NGOs’, June 3, 2015, https://savetibet.org/alarm-at-repressive-new-laws-in-china-on-counter-terror-security-and-ngos/
 Chen was appointed Party boss in 2011 under Hu Jintao, but his article was a commentary on a speech by China’s leader Xi Jinping, and seems to have been intended to demonstrate Chen’s allegiance to Xi.
 Tsering Topgyal, University of Birmingham, UK, ‘Developing the “Trans-Unit” Dynamics of Securitization, Understanding the Tibetan Self-Immolations’, unpublished paper – See more at: https://savetibet.org/the-crackdown-in-tibet-under-xi-the-march-anniversaries-and-tibetan-new-year-as-xi-jinping-marks-a-year-in-power/
 As Hu Jintao put it in 2008, the “conflict with the Dalai clique” (…) “is not an ethnic problem, nor a religious problem, nor a human rights problem. It is a problem either to safeguard national unification or to split the motherland.” (Xinhua, April 28 2008). In 2011, before he became supreme leader, Xi Jinping took up the baton and in a major speech made in Lhasa (which we know about courtesy of Wikileaks) said: “For our country, Tibet serves as an important national security screen. It also constitutes an important ecological security screen, a major base of strategic resources reserve and a major production area of special highland agro-produce. It is home for the preservation of a unique culture of the Chinese nation and a major international tourism destination. To do a good job in Tibet facilitates our efforts to thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development and build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. It serves the need of sustainable development, and the maintenance of ethnic unity and social stability as well as overall unity and national security of the motherland. To accelerate development and maintain stability in Tibet is the strategic decision and explicit requirement of the central government.” (Xi 2011 http://search.wikileaks.org/gifiles/?viewemailid=700365)
 Chen Quanguo said on March 1, 2012: “Mobile phones, internet and other measures for the management of new media need to be fully implemented to maintain the public’s interests and national security.” See: “Official urges internet watch in Tibet,” March 2, 2012, Reuters, see: www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2012/03/02/2003526819
 Also see ICT’s earlier report: “A ‘Raging Storm’: The Crackdown on Tibetan writers and artists after Tibet’s Spring 2008 Protests”, May, 2010, https://savetibet.org/a-raging-storm/
 “Us, Post 2009”: essay written for ICT publication “Like Gold that Fears no Fire: New writing from Tibet”, October, 2009, https://savetibet.org/like-gold-that-fears-no-fire-new-writing-from-tibet/
 Jangbu, one of the most acclaimed Tibetan poets in exile, wrote about this feeling of exile while in one’s homeland in his prose piece, “Homeland”, cited by Lama Jabb in his essay cited above. Jangbu wrote: “Our homeland is the liberating property of a term in the dictionary of the future that may only reach us from a remote place after many years. Inside that term the river is forever ebbing away while the fish, seizing the opportunity presented by the distant flow of the river, are pursuing already formed particularities in the distance. After many years, when they meet in a foreign land they will nurture a new home by an old philosophy and will have forgotten the past intimidations, massacres and betrayals, and may speak to their children of a distant river of ancient times and a distant borrowed home of the future. Upon pondering this, those who lost their homeland may only then pay attention to their homeland. In essence, homeland is our own body and the fragmentary explanation upon which the body itself relies.”
 Video of the Dalai Lama speaking uploaded by the Cryptik Movement, December 18, 2014, http://cryptik.squarespace.com/home/dalai-lama-the-message.html
 Tibetan scholar Lama Jabb wrote: “Tibetan popular music, like contemporary literature, is one of the artistic means through which Tibetans imagine themselves as a nation. It is also a mode of subversive narrative that counters the master narrative of Chinese state power and its colonial conception of Tibetan history and society.” Referencing the lyrics of Tibetan singers, Lama Jabb draws a distinction between ‘plaintive’ songs, which “constantly remind Tibetans of past and present tragedies and call for national unity and a concerted effort to change the political status quo”, and ‘spirited songs’ which “celebrate a common cultural identity among Tibetans and express an aspiration for a shared future.” ‘Singing the Nation: Modern Tibetan Music and National Identity’ by Lama Jabb, a scholar at Oxford University, in Revisiting Tibetan Culture and History. Dharamsala: Amnye Machen 2012, 1-29. This paper was first published online in 5HYXHG¶ (Etudes Tibetaines, No. 21 (Oct 2011), http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/ret/pdf/ret_21_01.pdf See also https://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/sites/www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/files/Lama%20Jabb%20Publications%20.pdf
 Video and translated lyrics at High Peaks Pure Earth: http://highpeakspureearth.com/2013/tibetan-soul-by-tsewang-lhamo-and-potala-by-kadrak-trayang/
 Protection of the Tibetan language has been a particular focus of the self-immolators in both Amdo and Kham. In one of the most harrowing videos of the aftermath of a self-immolation, a Tibetan called Ngawang Norphel is filmed lying on his side in Zilkar monastery with his disfigured face and head visible. [He self-immolated together with Tenzin Khedup on June 20, 2012, in Tridu (Chinese: Chengduo) county, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai.] Clearly in agonizing pain, Ngawang Norphel begins to talk about his concerns, with the Tibetan language mentioned first: “My people have no freedom of language. Everybody is mixing Tibetan and Chinese. Be that as it may, take my wealth. I don’t need them. What has happened to my Land of Snow? What has happened to my Land of Snow? […][This is] for the sake of Tibet. We are in the land of snow. If we don’t have our freedom, cultural traditions and language, it would be extremely embarrassing for us. We must therefore learn them. Every nationality needs freedom, language and tradition. Without language, what would be our nationality?”
 See ICT report, “Praying and lighting butter-lamps for Dalai Lama ‘illegal”: new regulations in Rebkong’, April 14, 2015, https://savetibet.org/praying-and-lighting-butter-lamps-for-dalai-lama-illegal-new-regulations-in-rebkong/
 Translation by Lama Jabb. Three passages of this poem are on p 35, ICT report, “Like Gold that Fears no Fire: New writing from Tibet”, October, 2009, https://savetibet.org/like-gold-that-fears-no-fire-new-writing-from-tibet/
 See ICT report, “Torture and impunity: 29 cases of Tibetan political prisoners”, https://savetibet.org/new-report-documents-endemic-torture-in-tibet-and-climate-of-impunity/
 Article by Dechen Pemba, July 9, 2014, “Braving High Risks and Heavy Censorship in China, Tibetan Musicians Sing Their Love for Tibet”, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/07/09/braving-high-risks-and-heavy-censorship-in-china-tibetan-musicians-sing-their-love-for-tibet/
 ‘Tibetan rap on Chinese knuckles flusters Beijing’, by Kate Saunders, Guardian on Sunday (India), http://www.sunday-guardian.com/analysis/tibetan-rap-on-chinese-knuckles-flusters-beijing
 Radio Free Asia report, November 29, 2014, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/singers-11292014130459.html
 Posted on April 29, 2015, http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=36004
 Radio Free Asia report, April 23, 2012, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/singer-04232012190043.html
 ICT report, November 20, 2014, https://savetibet.org/harsh-new-rectification-drive-in-driru-nuns-expelled-and-warning-of-destruction-of-monasteries-and-mani-walls/
 See the campaign by UK-based Free Tibet to free imprisoned Tibetan singers: http://freetibet.org/singers/gongpo-tsezin
 In February 2014, UN offices covering areas such as freedom of expression, cultural rights, arbitrary detention and minority rights under the UN High Commission for Human Rights sent a joint representation about jailed Tibetan musicians to the Chinese authorities. The Chinese authorities replied with this information about Gongpo Tenzin; see Free Tibet UN offices covering areas such as freedom of expression, cultural rights, arbitrary detention and minority rights.
 In 2009, Tibetans in different areas of Tibet marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year by ‘mourning’ and in somber reflection on the crackdown following the protests that swept across Tibet, according to sources in Tibet. In an unprecedented “outpouring of emotion”, many Tibetans posted blogs and comments mostly opposing any celebration of Tibetan New Year (Losar), which began that year on February 25 according to the Tibetan calendar, which is different to the Chinese lunar calendar. ICT report, January 27, 2009: https://savetibet.org/tibetans-in-mourning-as-chinese-new-year-begins/
 TCHRD report, August 13, 2013: http://www.tchrd.org/2013/08/tibetan-singer-secretly-sentenced-to-five-years-in-prison-amid-major-crackdown-in-rebkong/
 Also see ICT report ‘A Raging Storm: The Crackdown on Tibetan writers and artists after Tibet’s Spring 2008 Protests’, https://savetibet.org/a-raging-storm/
 http://highpeakspureearth.com/2015/tashi-rabten-remembers-detained-writer-shokjang/ Tashi Rabten, a well-known essayist, writer and editor of banned literary magazine Eastern Snow Mountain, served four years in prison before his release in March, 2014. In a conversation circulating on social media following his release, he wrote the following: http://www.tchrd.org/2015/03/i-was-criminalized-for-expressing-my-views-writer-tashi-rabten-in-a-recent-interview-a-year-after-release-from-prison/
 Translation by High Peaks Pure Earth, http://highpeakspureearth.com/2014/conflict-and-resolution-a-response-to-liu-junning-by-shokjang/
 TCHRD report, http://www.tchrd.org/2014/04/writer-among-two-sentenced-to-harsh-prison-terms-of-10-to-13-years-in-diru-county/ and http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/tibet/3975-tibetan-writer-shogdril-sentenced-to-13-years-jail-term
 For details of the protests, see ICT report, ‘Tibet at a Turning Point: The Spring Uprising and China’s New Crackdown’, https://savetibet.org/tibet-at-a-turning-point/
 https://savetibet.org/founder-of-tibetan-cultural-website-sentenced-to-15-years-in-closed-door-trial-in-freedom-of-expression-case/; and www.internationalpen.org.uk/index.cfm?objectid=264A6A72-3048-676E-26881BFF062C1C43.
 A translation of the official news report is at: https://savetibet.org/ngo-worker-sentenced-to-life-imprisonment-harsh-sentences-signal-harder-line-on-blocking-news-from-tibet/