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Pema-Rigzin-Tibet-Singer-2014Dharamshala: - The Intermediate People's Court of Chengdu City sentenced a popular Tibetan singer to two years and six months in prison and a fine up to ¥50,000 on charges of allegedly producing songs, including music and albums for a political purpose.

"Pema Rigzin, a 44-year old Tibetan singer was sentenced to two years and six months in prison on 27 November, 2014 and a fine up to ¥50,000 (approximately $8,100 USD)," Kanyak Tsering of India based Kirti Monastery told The Tibet Post International on December 2.

The source indicates that 'Yarphel was found guilty of for producing patriotic Tibetan songs. He has been ordered jailed for more than two years as well as one additional year of deprivation of political rights. He was also charged with 'politically motivated' songs, albums and music.'

Rigzin, who is native to Meruma town of Ngaba County in North-eastern Tibet had been detained by Chinese authorities in Chengdu on May 7, 2013. He has been handed a two-and-a-half-year prison term as well as one additional year of deprivation of political rights after being held in detention for one-and-a-half years,' according to the source.

"Some of his family members and relatives were permitted to observe the trial. But they were denied to independently hire attorneys," Tsering further said.

Chinese authorities in Beijing treats any Tibetans' activities related to preserving culture, traditions, literature and arts with suspicion and often allege them for inciting separatist activities, aimed at splitting the country.

"Rigzin, a talented singer, who has expressed his deep loyalty towards Tibet and its cultural identity and language through several songs, including 'Remembering Tibet,' and 'Tears,'" our sources told TPI.

Rinzin was a former monk, stopped singing in 2008, but devoted most of his time to the production of films and songs in a studio in Chengdu City. Chinese authorities had threatened him several times about shutting down his studio in the city.

China jailed scores of Tibetan writers, artists, singers, and educators for asserting Tibetan national and cultural identity and language rights since widespread protests swept Tibetan areas in 2008.

Many of them have been reportedly imprisoned without ever being charged, and some have been denied visits from their family.

The national flag and images of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are prohibited. Tibetans can be punished simply for having "patriotic" songs on their phones.

Tibetans in Tibet are denied most rights, including the right to freedom of artistic expression - a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For Tibetans in Tibet, it is considered a crime to sing in their own language about their own culture.

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