Tibetan land rights activists released from Chinese prison — Radio Free Asia

Prison authorities in northwest China’s Qinghai province this week released two Tibetan men jailed three years ago for land rights activism, following the release earlier this year of four others imprisoned on the same charge, Tibetan sources said.

Tashi Tsering and Drukbum Tsering, both residents of Horgyal village in Qinghai’s Rebgong (Chinese, Tongren) county, were released on July 1, a month after serving their sentences, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA , citing sources at Rebgong.

“Chinese authorities took them straight home after their release, and local Tibetans were not allowed to make welcome demonstrations upon their return,” an RFA source said, speaking as anonymity for security reasons.

“No details are yet available regarding their condition, and even though they have been released from prison, the authorities continue to monitor their movements, making life difficult for them by keeping them under surveillance,” the source added.

The pair had been incarcerated in a large prison built a few years ago in Rebgong, and family and friends were not allowed to visit them while they were detained, he said.

The city of Rebgong in China’s Qinghai province is shown in an undated photo. Photo: FRG

In April 2019, Tashi Tsering, Drukbum Tsering and seven other activists were sentenced to prison terms of three to seven years each by the Tongren County People’s Court for leading an “illegal organization” demanding land rights for Tibetans.

Authorities had further accused the men of usurping the functions of already established village committees, “extortion” and “gathering people to disrupt social order”, RFA said in an earlier report, citing news reports. provided by the Tibetan Center in Dharamsala, India. Human rights and democracy.

One of four members of the group released earlier in April this year, land rights activist Sonam Gyal is in poor health after his release, the RFA source said. “And we still don’t know the names of the others who were released with him, due to the strict restrictions on information imposed by the Chinese government.”

Chinese development projects in Tibetan areas have led to frequent clashes with Tibetans who accuse Chinese companies and local officials of improperly grabbing land and disrupting the lives of local people. Many result in violent repression, the detention of protest organizers and intense pressure on the local population to comply with the wishes of the government.

Translated by Tenzin Dickyi for RFA Tibetan. Written in English by Richard Finney.