Political Prisoner Ghurgon Released After Four Years in Prison
After four years in prison for baseless charges of aiding a self-immolation, Ghurgon returned home on July 21st, 2016 to a warm reception by family members, friends, and many local supporters.
According to a media outlet in exile with reliable sources in Tibet, Chinese authorities claimed Ghurgon was involved in preventing police and officials from dousing the fire that consumed the body of Dubchung, who self-immolated in front of the local police station at Drachen in Khyungchu district, Ngaba County, on January 18th, 2013. Officials claimed Ghurgon, along with two other Tibetans, Norbu Dorji and Sonam Yarphel, soon followed by a large number of Tibetans present around the scene, was involved in obstructing police and local authorities from using fire extinguishers. On the 22nd of the same month, local authorities ordered Ghurgon and his companions’ arrest with a promise of leniency should they opt to surrender and accept the charges levied against them.
Around mid-July 2013, in the presence of local area leaders and officials, the district public court summoned two family members of each of the accused to be present in court and then charged the defendants for murder. Ghurgon and Sonam Yarphel were handed a sentence of four years each in Mainyang prison in Sichuan province, while Norbu Dorji received a sentence of five years. Sonam and Norbu are still serving their respective prison terms.