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Tibetan political prisoner in poor health said to be released from jail

Chinese authorities have released Tibetan political prisoner Norzin Wangmo, who was arrested in 2020 and sentenced to three years in prison for sharing information about Tibetans who self-immolated in protest of China’s repressive policies, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA on Thursday.

“Norzin Wangmo was unexpectedly released on May 2 from a prison in Kyegudo, where she was serving a three-year term,” said the Tibetan, who declined to be identified for safety reasons. “Because of severe torture and ill treatment in prison, she can barely stand up on her feet.

“She is currently being treated at her home because she is not allowed to visit hospitals for treatment,” said the source. “She is still closely monitored by the Chinese government.”

Wangmo from Kham Kyegudo in Yushul (in Chinese, Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province was accused of sharing information about Tenzin Sherab who self-immolated in the prefecture’s Chumarleb, (Qumalai) county in May 2013.

The woman, who is married and has young three children, was sentenced in May 2020 after a secret trial. Her family was not allowed to visit her while she was in prison despite frequent requests to do so.

Due to strict restrictions and harsh policies in Tibet imposed by Chinese government, Wangmo’s case did not reach the Tibetan exile community until 20 months after her arrest.

“Before her arrest, she had been interrogated for about 20 hours by local police,” said another Tibetan who lives in exile and has knowledge of the matter.

“Her hands and feet were both shackled, and her family was allowed to see her only for a few minutes before she was taken into the prison,” the source said. “The clothes and other goods that her family brought for her were also returned.”

Translated by Tenzin Dickyi for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.