China jails Tibetan for demanding Panchen Lama’s release, his aunt for sharing protest info

Tibetan protester Wangchen and his aunt Acha Dolkar are shown in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, May10’19) – China has on May 8 jailed a Tibetan youth for four and half years for making a public calls for the release of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Tibet’s second most prominent religious figure recognized by the Dalai Lama in 1995, and an aunt of his for one year and three months for giving out information about the man’s action.

The youth, Wangchen, 20, was arrested on Apr 29 for shouting slogans to raise his demand. He was sentenced by the Sershul (Chinese: Shiqu) County People’s Court in Kardze (Ganzi) prefecture, Sichuan Province, for allegedly leading “a conspicuous protest in public against the law of the land,” the Tibetan Service or May 8 quoted a Tibetan living in India as saying, citing local contacts.

Acha Dolkar has been jailed for sharing news of her nephew Wangchen’s protest with contacts outside the region, the report cited a local source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Two other Tibetans, Lobsang and Yonten, arrested with Wangchen, have each been fined 15,000 yuan (US $2,211) and ordered to attend political re-education classes on “issues of national security” for six months, the report cited the source as saying.

Wangchen, an unschooled star horse-racing jockey, walked unsteadily when taken to court on May 7, the report said, leading witnesses to believe he had been tortured in custody by police. “No one was allowed to get close to him to look for signs of trauma,” the report quoted the source as saying.

The whereabouts of both Wangchen and his aunt after their sentencing remain unknown.

The 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima has remained disappeared ever since the Chinese government took him away in 1995 as a 6-year-old boy. China then appointed another boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as its 11th Panchen Lama.


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