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15-year Tibet political prisoner dead due to torture

Former social activist Tenzin Choedak died while still serving his prison sentence in Lhasa.
Former social activist Tenzin Choedak died while still serving his prison sentence in Lhasa.

(TibetanReview.net, Dec07, 2014) – A Tibetan political prisoner undergoing a 15-year jail sentence since 2008 in Tibet’s capital Lhasa has died on Dec 5, two days after his medical parole, due to severe torture and beating during his detention, said Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Dec 6. The report said Tenzin Choedak, 32, was previously known to have incurred injury to his brain and to be vomiting blood, although the immediate cause of his death is unclear. He was yet to complete six years of his long sentence but delivered to his family apparently due to the seriousness of his physical condition.

Chinese police arrested Tenzin Choedak in Apr 2008, accusing him of being a ringleader of the large-scale protests which had taken place in Lhasa the month before. The Chinese were said to have tortured and beaten him severely and repeatedly for having allegedly acted on the instigation of his father who had fled to India in 1993 after being involved in political protest activities. The Lhasa City court later jailed him for 15 years and also imposed on him a fine of 10,000 yuan.

He was serving his jail sentence in Chushur Prison in the outskirts of Lhasa when the Chinese delivered him to his family.

Tenzin Choedak had previously escaped to India in 1990 and joined the upper TCV school at Dharamshala, India. He studied up to the 10th grade and in 2005 returned to Tibet. There he joined a European NGO affiliated to the Red Cross Society and worked on environmental protection projects in Lhasa and Shigatse.

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