A Tibetan monk who survived after self-immolating with one other monk in protest against Chinese rule in 2011 was recently released after serving more than six years in Chinese prison with a leg missing.
Lobsang Kunchok, a monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba in the Traditional Tibetan province of Amdo, was secretly released on the night of March 28, 2017 from Deyang prison. He was escorted by officials to his remote village in Meruma Township to ward off any welcome reception for Lobsang and his release was delayed amid the politically sensitive time around March 10, the anniversary of the historic failed uprising of the Tibetan people in 1959 against the Chinese invasion.
According to reports in exile, officials banned him from rejoining his monastery and imposed restrictions over his movement while keeping him under strict surveillance. He was instructed not to publicize his release from prison while cautioned him over taking photographs. Lobsang Kunchok has reportedly undergone torture, insult and humiliation on numerous occasions while in hospital after his self-immolation protest and also during his prison sentence.
Lobsang Kunchok and Lobsang Kelsang were both monks of Kirti monastery when they staged the twin self-immolation protest on September 26, 2011. At the time, Losang kunchok was 18 and Lobsang Kelsang, a year older. At the time of his arrest, Kunchok was in critical condition and later his family was informed that his limbs would be amputated.
However, there are still no traces available of what happened to the other monk, Lobsang Kelsang. He was also taken into custody by the officials present at the time and disappeared since then. Many fear that he might have died since.