Dec 07, 2016

Tibet: Woman Released from Prison After Serving Three Years for ‘Supporting’ Self-Immolation Protest

Photo Courtesy of The Tibet Post

On 4 December 2016, Tibetan woman Dolma Tso was released after serving a three-year term in Mianyang prison, near Sichuan’s provincial capital Chengdu. She had been arrested in December 2013, after attempting to rescue a self-immolation protester from the police. She was later convicted on charges of homicide as the courts accused her of allegedly having aided in the fatal self-immolation of the protestor. During her 11-months imprisonment, Tso has reportedly been subjected to torture and is now in very poor health. When she returned to her village, more than 200 local residents had gathered there to welcome her back.

Below an article published by The Tibet Post:

A Tibetan woman jailed in Sichuan Province for allegedly attempting to rescue a self-immolation protester from police has reportedly been released in poor health after serving a three-year term, sources say.

Dolma Tso, who had been held in Mianyang prison near Sichuan’s provincial capital Chengdu, was freed on December 4th [2016] and returned to her home in Ngaba (Chinese Aba) county’s Meruma township that evening, according to a relative living in Australia.

“More than 200 local residents had gathered there to welcome her back." The source added, "Tso was beaten and tortured during the first 11 months of her confinement and is now in poor health.

“She is suffering from lack of proper sleep, weak health, giddiness, and mood swings, among other problems. Her family members are deeply worried and concerned about her condition.”

Tso, a member of Meruma Getsang family, has a 14-year-old daughter named Tsultrim Drolma. Her father’s name is Gerik, and her mother’s name is Donkho.

According to the source, in December 2015, Tso’s family received two letters from prison authorities informing them that Tso would have to undergo surgery, but when family members asked to see her so that they could see her condition for themselves, they were not allowed to meet with her.

“Tso managed to call them from the prison and tell them she was being forced to undergo a procedure she had declined, and warning them not to give their approval.”

It was not immediately clear what surgery officials were insisting on performing or whether the procedure was ever performed.

Tso was among a group of Ngaba residents who had clashed with police in December 2013 as they tried to stop security forces from taking a severely burned self-immolation protester, Konchog Tseten, away from the site of his protest, according to previous sources about the event.

On November 3rd, 2014, Tso was convicted on a charge of homicide and given a three-year-term.

A total of 145 Tibetans living in China have now set themselves ablaze in self-immolations since the wave of protests began in 2009, with most protests featuring calls for Tibetan freedom and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from India, where he has lived since escaping Tibet during a failed national uprising in 1959.

Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".