Prison abuses blamed for Tibetan monk’s untimely death

Former Tibetan political prisoner Tsering Bagdro. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, May06’20) – Two Tibetan monks, both former political prisoners in different parts of Chinese ruled Tibet, had died in the second half of last month, with at least one of the deaths attributed to illness resulting from torture his police detention. Gendun Sherab, a monk at the Rongpo Rabten Monastery in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture, had died on April 18 while Tsering Bagdro, a former monk of Ganden Monastery, Lhasa, had died on Apr 26.

Gendun Sherab, 50, was arrested in 2017 in Lhasa for sharing a message from the Dalai Lama on the subject of the reincarnation of Choedon Rinpoche of Sera Je’s Lhopa Khangtsen.

He was accused of sharing and disseminating politically sensitive documents on WeChat and other social media, reported the Tibetan Service of earlier reported Apr 24.

The report said he was released three months later after suffering life-threatening injuries that had rendered him unable to speak or move his body. The condition of his release rendered him unable to seek hospital treatment. He therefore sought traditional Tibetan medicine treatment, which did not help.

The report said he died in his home in Barkal village in Sog County’s Rongpo township.

Tsering Bagdro was arrested with other Tibetans after they staged a demonstration in Lhasa on Jun 10, 1992, shouting long-life prayers for the Dalai Lama and calling Tibet an independent country. They demanded that China quit Tibet, which they said belonged to Tibetans.

After months of violent interrogations in Lhasa’s infamous Gutsa Detention Centre, Tsering Bagdro, being considered the ringleader, was jailed for eight years by the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court in Nov 1992 while the others received five to seven-year jail sentences.

He was released after completing his jail sentence on Jun 9, 2000, but remained under surveillance until his death, said Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet May 4.


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