Dharamshala — Two Tibetans jailed by Chinese authorities for allegedly engaged in separatist activities against Chinese rule have been freed after they completed their prison terms. According to the sources, a Tibetan political prisoner is still being held by Chinese police even after completion of his prison sentence.
Jolep Jigme, 40, returned to his home in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) county, north-eastern Tibet where he was warmly greeted by friends and supporters, on March 21, Ven Sonam, a Tibetan living in Switzland told TPI, citing sources in the region.
Former Tibetan political prisoner Jolep Dawa and Tibetan writer Tashi Rabten were among those who greeted him. Rabten also known as Theurang was given a four-year prison sentence in connection with his critical writings about the 2008 protests.
Jigme was handed a seven-year prison term in 2009 by the People's Intermediate Court in Ngaba following his conviction on a charge of revealing state secrets. He was arrested on 7 February 2009. He was also detained without trial until 9 April 2010, when he was charged with leaking national security information since 2009.
Jigme who hails from Jolep Village of Ngaba County, Amdo Region of north-eastern Tibet, was detained in 1992 for a year, after alleged pro-independence involvement.
Sonam Gonpo, 25, a monk of the Wongpo monastery in Karze (Ch: Ganzi) county, was released recently after serving a four-year term and arrived home on March 12, Ven Jampa Yonten, a Tibetan living in India told TPI, citing sources in the region. No details were immediately available on Gonpo's physical condition and his release.
Gonpo was handed a seven-year prison term on September 9, 2013 by Chinese authorities after being detained on December 15, 2012 in Wonpo Village in Dzamey Township of Dzachukha area in Sershul County, Kham Karze region of eastern Tibet.
Gonpo was sentenced along with Choedar, to four years in prison after being arrested on 15 December 15, 2012, for allegedly pulling down a Chinese flag and throwing leaflets calling for Tibet's freedom. Both monks belong to the Wongpo Monastery in Sershul County.
According to the information received by TPI, the Tibetan political prisoner Choedar is still being detained in prison even after his prison term got over this year by Chinese authorities. Choedar was 22 years old at the time of his arrest.
Before his arrest, Chinese authorities issued a warrant for his capture, and offered between 200,000 and 300,000 Yuan as a reward for information leading directly to his arrest.
The County has been under intense surveillance and restrictions since 2008 uprising. On February 4, 2012, local Tibetans pulled down a Chinese national flag from a government school building in Wonpo area, one day after three self-immolation protests took place in the region.
On September 7, 2012, Tibetans pulled down a Chinese flag and hoisted a Tibetan flag on top of a school building in Dzachuka area. Leaflets calling for freedom were left scattered at the flag-raising site.