(TibetanReview.net, Jul04’22) – A well-known former Tibetan monk-political prisoner detained in 2006, 2008 2010, and 2011 and eventually jailed for five years for allegedly working “to split the nation” has died at his home in the Tibetan prefecture of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan), now part of China’s Gansu Province, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jul 3. The general cause of death is attributed to torture during those detentions.
Jigme Gyatso, also called Jigme Goril, a monk of Labrang Monastery in Sangchu (or Labrang, Chinese: Xiahe) County, Kanlho, died on Jul 2 at home, the report said, citing one of his former students.
His case became well known in the outside world after he smuggled out a video in 2009 in which he described his brutal treatment in custody and it was widely circulated on the internet.
“During his imprisonment, he has been subjected to severe beatings due to which he has been admitted in hospital for a long time without any sign of improvement,” the former student, now living in exile, has said.
The immediate cause of his death remains unknown as China does not allow any news about him, including even his photo, being shared.
Jigme Gyatso, who had repeatedly protested against the Chinese government, was released from prison in poor health from the provincial capital Lanzhou on Oct 26, 2016, after completing his jail sentence.
“But still the Chinese government kept a close watch on him, restricting his movement and his visit to the hospital, depriving him of medications when he needed them,” another local source has said.
“Since May his health took the turn for the worse, and he was taken to a medical facility in Xining, Qinghai province, for a long period but without any success. The Chinese government is trying to block information regarding Gyatso which is why has become extremely difficult to get a recent photo of him.”