Released Tibetan political prisoner given hero’s welcome


(, May17, 2014) – A Tibetan man jailed for 12 years after he took part in a protest rally against Chinese rule at Trehor Chogri town in Draggo (Chinese: Luhuo) County of Karze Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in Mar 2008 has been given a hero’s welcome by fellow villages after his release on May 7, six months before his due date. More than 100 residents of his Dilyu village welcomed home Sonam Yarphel, 34, with presenting of ceremonial scarves, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) May 15.

The March 25 protest was part of uprising protests which engulfed most of the Tibetan Plateau in 2008. China used massive security operations, including with large scale killings and arrests and cutting off of the Tibetan Plateau region from the outside world, to suppress the uprising. Sonam Yarphel was held on Apr 2, 2008 and later sentenced by the prefectural court. The accusations against him included harming national stability and sending information to splittists outside the country.

Although China has a policy to reduce jail sentences for good behaviour, it was not clear whether Sonam Yarphel earned his early release for it. Earlier, on Apr 1, Tsedak Gonpo, jailed for leading protests in Sichuan’s Ngaba (Aba) prefecture in 2008, was also released after having served six years of his long jail sentence.


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