Gartse Jigme

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Police arrested Jigme, a Tibetan author and monk, at the Rebgong Gartse monastery in the Malho prefecture of Qinghai province, according to news reports. His family was unaware of his whereabouts until a Qinghai court sentenced him to five years in prison on May 14, 2013. The charges have not been disclosed officially, but the independent Chinese PEN Center said he was accused of separatism.

The conviction was in connection with the second volume of Jigme’s book, Tsenpoi Nyingtob (The Warrior’s Courage), according to Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. The book contained chapters expressing Jigme’s opinions on topics such as Chinese policies in Tibet, self-immolation, minority rights, and the Dalai Lama, according to news reports.

Jigme was briefly detained in 2011 in connection with the first volume of his book, according to the Hong Kong-based group Chinese Human Rights Defenders and Tibetan rights groups. He had written the book as a reflection on widespread protests in Tibetan areas in the spring of 2008, Tibetan scholar Robert Barnett told CPJ. China has jailed scores of Tibetan writers, artists, and educators for asserting Tibetan national identity and civil rights since the protests.

Authorities did not disclose any information on Jigme’s health or whereabouts. According to the Independent Chinese PEN Center, he may be in prison in Xining, a city in Qinghai province. As of late 2017, CPJ was unable to verify that Jigme was incarcerated in Xining or determine the condition of Jigme’s health.