Tibetan writers released from prison in China

Two Tibetan writers were released from prison in Sichuan province on June 20, 2014, after completing four-year jail terms given to them in June 2010, according to reports. Jangtse Donkho and Buddha were convicted in the Aba Intermediate Court on charges of “incitement to split the nation,” reports said.

The two were contributors to the Tibetan-language magazine Shar Dungri (Eastern Snow Mountain), which was a collection of essays that criticized human rights abuses against Tibetans and questioned official media accounts of the March 2008 unrest in Tibet. The journal was published in July 2008 and distributed in western China before authorities banned the publication, according to the advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet.

Donkho was a contributor and editor for Shar Dungri and wrote under the penname Nyen, meaning “Wild One.” Buddha, a practicing physician, wrote under the penname Garmi, meaning “Blacksmith.”

Buddha’s essay, “Hindsight and Reflection,” was presented as part of the prosecution, Radio Free Asia reported. According to a translation of the essay by the International Campaign for Tibet, Buddha wrote: “If development means even the slightest difference between today’s standards and the living conditions of half a century ago, why the disparity between the pace of construction and progress in Tibet and in mainland China?”

A third contributor to Shar Dungri, Kalsang Jinpa, was arrested and tried during the same period and sentenced to three years in prison. Although prisoners in China are generally released at the completion of their sentence, CPJ could not confirm that Jinpa had been freed. Former prisoners in China are often ordered not to discuss their detention or are afraid to do so.

The editor of Shar Dungri, Tashi Rabten, was also jailed in 2010.