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China-disappeared Tibetan writer learnt to be under four-year jail sentence

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(TibetanReview.net, Mar14’23) – A Tibetan writer taken way and disappeared by China nearly three years ago from Khyungchu (the county seat of Kakhog (Chinese: Hongyuan) in Ngaba Prefecture, Sichuan Province) has recently been found serving a four-year jail sentence, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Mar 13, citing Tibetans with knowledge of the situation. He is learnt to have been convicted for “splittism and spreading rumours in internet chat groups.”

The report said Zangkar Jamyang, now 45, disappeared in the night of Jun 4, 2020, when he was taken away, apparently from his home.

It was reported to have taken a very long time for his family to find out that he had been arrested and charged with “inciting ‘separatist’ acts and participating in online discussions on various subjects.”

He is learnt to be held in the Menyang Prison near the provincial capital Chengdu. None from his family and others are being allowed to see him, the report said.

* * *

Jamyang is said to be fluent in both Tibetan and Chinese and to have written a book, besides being a contributor to Tibetan literary magazines, including Dang Char

From about the year 2020, he was said to have begun to highlight the importance of teaching Tibetan children their mother tongue. And he reportedly criticized the Chinese government when officials began implementing policies to drop the teaching of the region’s native language in schools.

Married and a father of two, Jamyang also reportedly encouraged Tibetans to denounce the Chinese government’s efforts to prevent them from using and teaching their own language.

He was stated to have actively shared information about the greatness of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and on the importance of preserving the Tibetan language in online chat groups.

These were stated to have led the authorities to interrogate him many times, to search his laptop computers and mobile phones, and to detain him a few times.

* * *

Earlier, in 1998, Jamyang had left Tibet, and visited Dharamshala, India, where he learnt English.

He returned to Tibet in 2002 and worked as a translator for United Nations organizations and NGOs from the United States while also being a tour guide and translator for other visitors to the region, the report said.

In 2019, his application for a visa to travel to the United States was approved but he did not make it due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

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