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Chinese prison abuses cited for released Tibetan monk’s death

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(, Nov09’22) – A Tibetan Buddhist scholar has died as a direct result of abuses and medical neglect he had suffered during six years of political imprisonment in Chinese ruled Tibet, reported the Tibetan Service of Nov 8.

Geshe Tenzin Palsang had earlier left Tibet in 1986 and studied at Drepung Monastery in South India, where he earned a Geshe degree in a culmination of more than 15 years of mastering Buddhist philosophy. He returned to Tibet in 2009 to take a senior position at Draggo Monastery.

Citing a local source, the report said the monk, a resident of Draggo (Chinese: Luhuo) county in Sichuan’s Kardze (Ganzi) Prefecture, had died in September after his condition suddenly worsened.

“This was due to the torture he suffered in prison and lack of medical care after his release,” the report quoted the source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

The report cited the source as saying Palsang, a monk at Draggo Monastery, was held on Apr 2, 2012, accused of organizing a demonstration against Chinese rule in Tibet. He was stated to have called on the Chinese government to end its “repressive policies in Tibet and their genocide and persecution of the Tibetan people.

“He also demanded that Tibetans in Draggo be given the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” the report quoted an exile Tibetan as saying, speaking anonymously to protect his contacts in Tibet.

Palsang reportedly disappeared briefly until he was tried and sentenced for his involvement in the demonstration.

The monk was released in Apr 2018 after completing his jail sentence but continued to be under police surveillance.

The report cited sources as saying Geshe Tenzin Palsang, also known as Tengha, was born in 1965 and was proficient in both the Tibetan and Chinese languages.

China not only routinely torture Tibetans, especially those who are influential and intellectual, in its prisons but also deny them proper medical treatment even after their release, the report cited Pema Gyal, a researcher at London-based monitoring and research group Tibet Watch, as saying.


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