Well known Tibetan Singer Released After Complete Prison Term
A well known Tibetan singer has been released from Chinese prison last month after completing his prison term of five years in Chinese prison.
Shawo Tashi, now 45, was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly taking part in activities relating to a self immolation in 2012, and has been released from a prison in Siling City, Capital of Qinghai province on 3 Jan.2018.
The Tibetan artist was arbitrarily detained in Dowa Township in Rebkong County in Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in November 2012 and later charged with distributing photos of a Tibetan self- immolation protestor and inscribing the last words left by the protestor on the photo, participating in protest against Chinese government and singing patriotic Tibetan songs. He was later secretly sentenced to five years in 2013.
Shawo Tashi is well known for his love and admiration for Tibetan culture and language, particularly traditional Tibetan music from an early age. He is well respected by the general Tibetan population, specially the nomadic area from which he was from. With many popular hits to his name, his songs were popularly regarded as songs that celebrate the distinct Tibetan identity and culture, notably the well known track titled, ‘Father in Distant Land’ (Tib: Gyang Ring Ghi Phalo).
Since 2012, Chinese officials started a crackdown on Tibetan intellectuals deemed influential among the general Tibetan public, from religious leaders to village elders including writers and singers who have shown deep respect for their language and culture were charged with trumped up charges. As many as 11 Tibetan singers and artists including song-writers were imprisoned.