Chinese Court Sentences Tibetan Monk to Five Year Prison Term

A Chinese court in Lanzu, Gansu Province has sentenced a Tibetan monk who had been harassed and mistreated by authorities since 2006 to a five year prison term on September 5, 2014.

In 2008, the year that saw mass protests throughout the Tibetan plateau, Gyatso was again put into detention for a year during which he was severely beaten and tortured. After his release, Gyatso made a video in which he testified about his brutal treatment in prison and recounted his advocacy of religious and cultural rights which he stated were granted to him under Chinese law. He also describes the impact of China’s crackdown in towns and villages across Tibet following the largely peaceful protests that took place in 2008.In 2006, he was detained after his return to Tibet from attending religious teachings in India by the Dalai Lama.

"Our main hope is that international media and United Nations investigators will come to Tibet and check on the real situation, and then report on it after they assess their findings. The Chinese are telling us that Tibetans have done illegal things, and are arresting, beating, and even killing us. Many people have fled to the mountains and dare not return to their homes and families. It would help if the world media saw these things and reported them, " said Jigme in his video. Click here to view the full video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac-V82xAaUg

He was detained again in 2010 for six months to undergo political re-education, and once again released without any formal charges.

Jigme Gyatso was last arrested in August, 2011, and has been held in detention at unknown whereabouts for over three years.

During this period, local authorities promoted various accounts to tarnish Jigme’s reputation and integrity as a respected monk in his monastery and community.

The monk’s family is known to have received communication from the court that sentenced Jigme Gyatso that he was found guilty of separatism but without any indication of his physical condition or whereabouts.

Labrang, hometown of the arrested monk, has seen several self-immolation protests since 2009 that called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and freedom for Tibet.