Tibetan teacher completes his 20 year long sentence last week, no news of him after his release

World has always been suspicious about the Chinese detention camps and forced punishments. Last week a school teacher was released after completing his 20 years of sentence. A Tibetan rights group is warried about his safety as nobody has heard anything from him after his release.

Bangri Rinpoche, a Tibetan religious teacher also known as Jigme Tenzin Nyima, was handed a life sentence in a trial held on Sept. 26, 2000 that was commuted to a 19-year term on July 31, 2003, the Dharamsala, India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said on August 1.

His term was due to end on July 31, but nothing has been heard of his release, Tenzin Dawa—a TCHRD researcher—told RFA on Monday.

“We all know that Bangri Rinpoche has spent 22 years of his life in prison, and even though he has completed his prison term we don’t know whether he has been released or not, or anything about his current health conditions,” Dawa said.

“Since we haven’t heard anything about his release, we are very concerned right now” Dawa said, adding, “It is a well-known fact that Tibetan prisoners are treated inhumanely inside Chinese prisons.”

“The Chinese government should immediately clarify [Bangri Rinpoche’s] status, whereabouts, and well-being,” he said.

Manager of an orphanage and school in Tibet’s capital Lhasa that gave instruction in the Tibetan language, Chinese language, English language, and mathematics, Bangri Rinpoche was arrested with his wife Nyima Choedron in August 1999 in connection with an alleged plot by a worker at the school to raise the banned Tibetan national flag in the city’s main square and then blow himself up with explosives.

Choedron’s ten-year sentence was later commuted, and she was released in February 2006, TCHRD said.

The orphanage was closed almost immediately following their arrest.

Formerly an independent nation, Tibet was invaded and incorporated into China by force 70 years ago.

Language rights have become a particular focus for Tibetan efforts to assert national identity in recent years, with informally organized language courses in the monasteries and towns typically deemed “illegal associations” and teachers subject to detention and arrest, sources say.

By Staff Writer

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