Disappeared Tibetan monk found jailed in China, many still missing

TibetanReview: A monk official of Draggo Monastery in Draggo (Chinese: Luhuo) County of Sichuan Province missing after he was taken away by Chinese police in February has been found under an 18-month jail sentence in Mianyang Prison in a Chinese area of the same province, said Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Sep 17. The centre said Shonu, 42, had been sentenced in June but that the charges against him were not known.

Shonu was taken away with four other monk officials of Draggo Monastery from an Internet cafĂ© in the provincial capital Chengdu. The whereabouts of the other four – Tulku Lobsang Tenzin; Geshe Tsewang Namgyal, also a teacher; Thinlay, the monastery’s manager; and Tashi Topgyal (or Dralha) the monastery’s accountant – still remain.

Shonu, a native of Garwa village in Draggo County, had enrolled in Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India in 1987. He later returned home and began working at Draggo Monastery. His arrest came after a large-scale Tibetan protest against Chinese rule at Draggo County on Jan 23, 2012.

The centre said another monk of Draggo, named as Tsering Gyaltsen, 40, was arrested during the Jan 23 protest and remained disappeared.  After failing to locate him anywhere, his family presumed that he had been killed in detention by the Chinese and performed the last rites in May, although they are still yet to see his body.

Draggo, Serta (Chinese: Seda) and Ngaba counties in Sichuan Province were hit by a series of protests by Tibetans on Jan 23-24 this year. China put down these protests with brutal force, leading,
in the case of Draggo, to at least six Tibetans being killed, 36 injured and a large number of Tibetans being detained, with the whereabouts of many of them still remaining unknown, the centre said.

The centre noted that on Mar 22, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that seven Tibetans had been sentenced to jail terms of 10 to 13 years for their involvement in the protest in Draggo. The centre also said that on Apr 26, a court in Karze (Chinese: Ganzi) Prefecture, to which Draggo and Serta belong, sentenced 16 Tibetans, including both monks and laymen, for their involvement in the Jan 23 protest in Draggo.

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