Tibetan Writer Released From Prison One Year Before Sentence Ends

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Gangkye Drubpa Kyab is greeted by supporters following his release from prison, Sept. 16, 2016. Photo sent by an RFA listener

A popular Tibetan writer jailed for over four years in southwestern China’s Sichuan province for criticizing Chinese rule has been released a year before the end of his term, a local source said.

Gangkye Drubpa Kyab, 36, was set free at about 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 16 and returned to his village in Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Serthar (Seda) county, a Tibetan living in the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“Family members and other Tibetans living in Serthar gave him a warm welcome on his arrival,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He had to go through some formalities at the local police office before they let him go home, though,” the source said.

Kyab had been confined in Sichuan’s Minyak Rangakha prison before being freed, and no reason was given for his early release, he said.

Kyab, a well-known writer in Tibetan areas of Sichuan, was taken into custody on Feb. 15, 2012 by police from Kardze prefecture and Serthar county, and was first brought to a detention center in Dartsedo (Kangding) county, the source said.

He was later handed a five-and-a-half year sentence by a court in Nyagchukha (Yajiang) county for “instigating campaigns for Tibet,” the source said.

“Now he has been released one year before completing his sentence.”

A native of Gephen village in Serthar’s Raktram township, Kyab had taught children in two different schools in Serthar, RFA’s source said.

“His writings about the 2008 protest movement in Tibetan areas were published in exile in 2013 as A Year Written in Blood.”

Writers, singers, and artists promoting Tibetan national identity and culture have frequently been detained by Chinese authorities, with many handed long jail terms, following region-wide protests against Chinese rule that swept Tibetan areas in 2008.

Reported by Sangye Gyatso for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Source: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/writer-09162016160823.html