Tibetan businessman Dorjee Tashi's sister, Gonpo Kyi, recently protested against injustice in Lhasa. Photo: ICT

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Dharamshala – Gonpo Kyi, the sister of a Tibetan businessman, seeks justice for her brother, Dorjee Tashi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Chinese authorities for alleged "loan fraud" and imprisoned in Drapchi prison, where Tibetan prisoners are known to be subjected to torture.

Gonpo Kyi, the sister of an unjustly imprisoned Tibetan businessman, has been remanded in custody by the Chinese authorities after she demonstrated outside the Higher People's Court of the so-called “Tibet Autonomous Region” in Lhasa on January 31, 2023, to seek justice for her brother Dorjee Tashi.

According to the report of the International Campaign for Tibet, Gonpo Kyi, was briefly detained by Chinese authorities after she staged a protest in front of the “Tibet Autonomous Region” Higher People’s Court in Lhasa, on January 31, 2023, to seek justice for her brother Dorjee Tashi.

The report stated that, “On Jan 31, 2023, Gonpo Kyi (Chinese: Gongbao Ji), the sister of imprisoned Tibetan businessman Dorjee Tashi (Duoji Zhaxi), staged a protest in front of the Tibet Autonomous Region Higher People’s Court in Lhasa, but within a few minutes, security officers removed her from the site. According to sources close to the family, she was briefly detained before being released with a warning.”

Sources to ICT added that Gonpo has been threatened with arrest if she continues her protests advocating for justice for her younger brother.

While protesting, Gonpo Kyi held a sign in Chinese that read: "Dorjee Tashi is innocent", and "The Tibetan High People's Court is perverting the law".

Gonpo Kyi began to advocate for her brother's release in June 2022, after trying all official channels for more than a decade. The outbreak of COVID-19 in Tibet in September 2022 temporarily interrupted her protests, but she resumed them in December 2022. Her latest protest, on January 31, 2023, was her fourth known protest before the court. In a video statement, she pledged to continue her protests until her brother is released.

According to the report, Dorjee Tashi's brother, Dorjee Tseten, has also been demanding justice for his brother for years. He posted several video clips on the situation of Dorjee Tashi on January 6, 20323, including his brother Tashi's worsening health condition, the fact that he has not been able to visit his brother even after trying several times, and he has not been able to see Tashi since 2019.

Dorjee Tashi was a successful businessman who owned luxury hotels and real estate companies in Tibet before he was arrested in July 2008. He was accused of “secessionist "by the Chinese authorities. Although the political charges were later dropped, he was convicted of "loan fraud" and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court on May 17, 2010.

Both the United States and the European Union have expressed concern about Dorjee Tashi's arbitrary detention. At the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council, held from September 12 to October 7, 2022, the EU called for Dorjee's immediate and unconditional release. The United States also acknowledged his detention in its 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.