Tibetan political prisoner in critical condition following injuries sustained in prison

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, July 29: Political prisoner and mother of three children, Norzin Wangmo is said to be in a critical state of health since her release from prison in May. According to sources cited by the Dharamshala-based rights group Tibet Watch, Norzin was denied access to immediate medical treatment while in custody, which resulted in his injuries worsening beyond treatment.

“A Tibetan source has confirmed that she is currently in near-death condition at Xining Hospital. She is in her thirties and her children, aged two to five, are now cared for by her husband,” the report said, adding that she spent weeks in various hospitals after her release.

Norzin requested admission to a hospital at Markham, Kyegudo and Xining People’s Hospitals in June, but doctors said her injuries were beyond treatment. According to previous reports, her trial was held in secret in May 2020 at Chumarleb County People’s Court, where she was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.

She is from Chigril Township in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. She was arrested in 2020 and accused of sharing with exiled Tibetans information about the 2013 self-immolation of a Tibetan nomad named Tenzin Sherab.

Sources claimed that his deteriorating health was one of the factors leading to his early release; Norzin Wangmo was forced to undergo labor reform while serving her sentence at Kyegudo Women’s Prison. The rights group says it is common practice for Chinese authorities to torture and release prisoners if they are terminally ill to avoid death in custody or death in custody.