Dharamshala — Chinese authorities have released another Tibetan political prisoner, Chukhatsang Ngoega, who is being described in serious health condition, from a Chinese prison in Kham Karze, eastern Tibet, on March 20.
The 61-year-old Tibetan activist was released at the completion of his eight year prison term. Eyewitnesses have said that Ngoega is in serious health condition with injuries to his lower spine as a result of severe torture during his imprisonment, although he was too weak to move.
Reports from Tibet indicate that Ngoega has been severely weakened physically by his imprisonment. "As he is prone to serious illness, can not stand-up and walk without others' help," Pema Wangyal, a Tibetan from South India told TPI, citing sources in the region.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison along a number of other Tibetans who were sentenced for between 3 and 10 years, in October, 2008, for "endangering state security" or "disrupting public order and other crimes" for having taken part in protests and related actions on March 18 and 26, 2008.
Ngoega who hails from Serchu village in Karze county, eastern Tibet, was arrested in 2008 in connection with the popular peaceful protest in Karze, eastern Tibet in March 18. Hundreds of Tibetans from different villages had taken part in the peaceful protest at the county headquarters against the Chinese government's rule in Tibet. During the protests, armed Chinese military surrounded the demonstrators and opened fire.
Harboring resentment and inflamed by desperation, hundreds of Tibetans demonstrated against the Chinese government on the main street in Karze County on March 18, 2008. They shouted slogans such as "Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama," "Free Tibet," "Tibetan people deserve Human Rights," "release Panchen Lama and all political prisoners!"
Ngoega among five people in Kardze have been given sentences up to 10 years for such things as raising the Tibetan flag or distributing leaflets. He was 53 year-old at the time of his arrest.
According to earlier reports, "Both Ngoega and Norbu Tsering were brought to the Court with around 20 people gathered for the court verdict. Apart from an assigned Tibetan translator, rest were mostly Chinese."
Ngoega retorted the judges' verdict by saying, "we did not commit any crimes of destroying or burning public properties rather we were involved only in distributing pamphlets on Tibetan cause. For that act I suffered torture, inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of security personnel that I regain my body sensation only days after my transferred to the prison."
Report of Ngoega's release comes days after the release of two other Tibetan prisoners in poor health condition at the completion of their lengthy prison terms.
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, but exact release date unknown.
Jolep Jigme, 40, returned to his home in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) county, north-eastern Tibet after serving a seven-year prison term. He was warmly greeted by friends and supporters, on March 21.
Reports previously said hundreds of Tibetans were being held without charge while at least 105 had been tried and sentenced across the Tibetan Plateau for involvement in protests since Mar 10, 2008.