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China releases Tibetan writer following four-year jail term

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China releases Tibetan writer following four-year jail term

A Tibetan writer who wrote a book that criticized Chinese rule in Tibet has been released from prison after serving a four-year sentence for “creating disorder among the public,” a Tibetan source told Radio Free Asia.

Lobsang Lhundup, who goes by the pen name Dhi Lhaden, was released in the beginning of August and has safely returned home, according to the source.

“There are no other details and information on his health condition. He is constantly under scrutiny though,” the source said.

Lhundup was taken into custody in June 2019 while working at a private cultural education center in Chengdu, the capital of western China’s Sichuan province, a source living in Tibet told RFA in 2021.

“It appears that someone told the owner of the cultural center about the teaching materials he was using, and so he was arrested,” RFA’s source said at the time, speaking on condition of anonymity for reasons of personal safety.

Spain-based Tibet-China researcher Sangay Kyap told RFA that Chinese authorities violated basic human rights and freedom of speech when they sentenced Lhundup to prison.

Born in 1980, Lhundup is a native of Sichuan’s Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, sources said. He became a monk at the age of 11 and studied at Sichuan’s Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy, from which thousands of resident monks and nuns were later evicted.

After teaching Buddhism at monasteries in Lhasa, Lhundup traveled widely in Tibet, later writing and publishing books about region-wide protests in 2008 against Beijing’s policies and rule in Tibetan areas.

In 2020, Lhundup’s family was summoned by Chinese authorities to discuss his case, but they learned only that his trial was still pending and they were not allowed to meet with him. Lhundup has a wife and child.

Writers, singers, and artists promoting Tibetan national identity and culture have frequently been detained and sentenced to long jail terms by Chinese authorities in the years after the 2008 protests.

–RFA report, Aug 7, 2023