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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Torture cited for death of man held for singing Tibetan anthem

Representational image.

(TibetanReview.net, Apr28’19) – A man held and tortured during more than one month of detention in 2016 for singing the Tibetan national anthem has died in a hospital in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Apr 26. The report said Pema Wangchen, 31, died on Apr 26, after having visited several hospitals for treatment.

The report said he was held for a month and 10 days and released in poor condition.

“He had severe back pain, and his body became so swollen that he could not even put on his shoes,” the report quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The report described him as a singer as well as a taxi driver.

The Gu-Chu-Sum, a Dharamsala-based association of former political prisoners in Chinese ruled Tibet, said Apr 26 that Pema Wangchen had made a video film of the singing on Feb 13, 2016, and it went viral on the Chinese micro messaging app Wechat. This group said his detention had lasted 15 days.

The rfa.org report said Pema Wangchen had studied in a Tibetan exile school in India in 2002 and then returned to his native Woksang village in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) County to work as a taxi driver.

He is said to be survived by his parents, his ex-wife and their three children, and his current wife and son.

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