Former Tibetan social activist serving 15 years’ sentence dead after less than 6 years in prison
According to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a Tibetan political prisoner serving a 15-year prison sentence died on yesterday afternoon on 5 December. He was less than six years into his prison term in Chushur Prison near Lhasa city. His death confirms criticisms from human rights groups that torture and inhumane treatment is common in Chinese prisons in Tibet.
Tenzin Choedak, also known as Tenchoe, died just two days after he was released to his family by prison authorities. He died at Mentsekhang, the traditional Tibetan medical institute in Lhasa city, hours after his family admitted him there. Tenzin Choedak had previously worked for a European NGO affiliated to Red Cross.
Early in November, as Tenchoe’s condition deteriorated prison authorities took him to three different hospitals for treatment. After the doctors gave up hope of saving Tenchoe, he was released to his family. He died two days later despite his family’s efforts to save him.
Tenchoe is not the first Tibetan to die in detention. Earlier this year in March, another Tibetan political prisoner Goshul Lobsang died months after prison officials released him to his family when his medical condition worsened beyond treatment in Machu (Ch: Maqu) County in in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. Goshul Lobsang suffered severe beatings and torture including pain-inducing injections in police detention.