Dharamshala — A Tibetan political prisoner, died on Monday, August 7, in central Tibet. “The monk, Khenrab Tharchin, died as a result of intense mistreatment by the Chinese authorities while in prison,” a source told the Tibet Post International (TPI).
“His condition never improved after he was released, and he remained bedridden until he took his last breath on Monday,” a local source told TPI on Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Tharchin was 40 years old at the time of his death. He was arrested in 2008 because he refused to participate in what the Chinese called “patriotic reeducation campaign,” a campaign whose aims were to control the Buddhist religious practices and eventually eradicate it completely, to suppress support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to eliminate the notion of an autonomous and free Tibet.
Tharchin was jailed by Chinese authorities for five years for protesting against the Chinese “patriotic education” campaign. He was a Buddhist monk of Shelkar Monastery in Dingri County of Cenrtal Tibet.
Tharchin stood up against this campaign and several monks followed him. In response, the Chinese authorities raided their monastery (Dingri Shelkar), arrested 13 monks, and took them to unknown locations.
Tharchin was released in 2013 but was gravely ill from the torturing and beatings by the Chinese authorities. He tried all sorts of medicines but his efforts were to no avail and he couldn’t go to the hospital because he had no money.
While six of the monks were released on Jan 19, three were still being held, with one named Khenrab Tharchin being treated especially harshly,’ the sources said, adding that he was first detained at a facility in Shigatse but later moved to Chushul prison on the outskirts of Lhasa.
Lobsang Jinpa, one of the released monks, was expelled from the monastery, while the other two were allowed to remain, but under stringent conditions against engaging in political activities. The monastery itself was also reported to have been placed under severe restrictions.