Kirti Monk Released After Seven and a Half Years in Prison
A monk from Kiti Monastery, Jamyang Phuntsok, aka Jangkho, was released on 2 September after serving seven and a half years in Mianyang Prison, located near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. He was arbitrarily detained and sentenced in connection with the self-immolation of Tapey in 2009, the first ever self-immolation protesting against the misrule of China in Tibet.
Jangkho, 41, hails from Thangkor village, Ngaba Bharma and was arbitrarily detained by the Chinese authorities on the night of 3 March 2009, four days after Tapey set himself ablaze. Following his arrest, the Chinese state media reported that Jangkho had confessed to sharing information to the outside separatist forces and accused him of fabricating false stories alleging that Chinese policemen shot Tapey who was already being consumed by the fire.
According to a prison release document of Jangkho obtained by TCHRD, Jangkho was handed a prison term of seven and a half years on the charge of ‘illegal sharing of state secrets to outsiders’ by the Ngaba Intermediate People’s Court, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. It was also noted in the prison release document that Jangkho is barred from executing his political rights for three years, from 2 September 2016 to 1 September 2019.
According to Article 54 of Chinese criminal law, deprivation of political rights refers to the deprivation of the following rights:
- The right to vote and to stand for election;
- The right of freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration
- The right to hold a position in a state organ; and
- The right to hold a leading position in any state-owned company, enterprise, institution or people’s organisation.
However, the rights mentioned above are almost nonexistent for the ethnic Tibetan people at large. Even a small and minute expression of protest against the government is criminalised and dealt with severely. Moreover, the political prisoners were highly monitored and surveyed upon,resulting in the scrutiny and restriction of their family members to certain rights.