Torture during Chinese political imprisonment blamed for Tibetan writer’s death

Ra Tsering Dhondup, a 34-year-old Tibetan writer. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Sep19’21) – A 34-year-old Tibetan writer in what is now part of China’s Sichuan Province has died this week after being in continuous ill-health for eight years since his release from prison, reported the Tibetan Service of Sep 16, citing a former colleague of his and others.

Due to harsh treatment and lack of medical care in prison, Ra Tsering Dhondup’s condition severely deteriorated during the eight years following his release, Tenzin Dawa, a researcher at the Dharamsala, India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy was cited as saying.

The report cited Gendun Tsering, a friend and former colleague of Dhondup now living in India, as saying the monk-writer was released from prison in 2013 but was in failing health and succumbed to liver disease in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.

Dhondup, who wrote under the pen name Shinglo Marpo, was a monk at Rongtha Monastery in Khyungchu County of Sichuan’s Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Prefecture. He was arrested in Feb 2010 for publishing a magazine “whose content criticized the Chinese communist government.”

The magazine, of which only one issue was published, described conditions in Tibet after protests opposing Chinese rule swept Tibet in 2008, the report cited another friend of Dhondup who worked with him on the magazine, with another person, as saying.

Dhondup was initially detained in the prefectural capital Barkham and later transferred to Mianyang Prison near Chengdu to complete his three-year sentence.

Political prisoners in Chinese ruled Tibet seldom make it out in good health. Many of them die within days to years of their release due to serious ailments resulting from torture and ill-treatment during their pre-trial torture-interrogations and then in jail. In the most severe cases of ill-health, such prisoners are released before completing their terms to avoid responsibility for their death taking place in prison.


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