(TibetanReview.net, Dec29, 2010) Four monks jailed by the Chinese authorities in Mangra (Chinese: Guinan) County of Tsolho (Chinese: Hainan) Prefecture in Qinghai Province have been released weeks before completing their terms on Feb 24, 2011 apparently because the authorities did not want to take responsibility for their very poor physical conditions. Oslo-based Voice of Tibet radio service reported Dec 27 that because of torture and beating over a long time, the monks, arrested on Feb 25, 2009, were in danger of dying in prison.
The exact date of release was not stated.
The monks – Kalsang Gyatso (23), Soepa Gyatso (26), Lungtok Gyatso (24), and Soepa Gyatso (21) – were part of an original group of 109 monks of the local Lutsang Monastery who staged a silent protest march on the Tibetans New Year that fell on Feb 25, 2009. The march ended with the holding a candle-light vigil before the County government headquarters. All the monks were detained at a nearby school and subjected to severe rounds of education in patriotism toward China. All but the four monks were eventually released.
The four did not hold any official position at the monastery but were considered senior on account of their educational achievements. The authorities suspected them to have led the protest and sentenced them to jail terms of two years each.
The protest was part of a campaign of boycott of New Year celebrations on account of the killing of large numbers of Tibetans by Chinese troops during their uprising protests the year before.