Choekyi spent four years in prison for producing a shirt that celebrated the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. Liver and kidney damage from treatment received. For the past few days he could hardly speak. The family was also persecuted.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Rfa) - A former Tibetan political prisoner died on May 7 in Serthar county (Sichuan), part of the historic Tibetan region of Kham. Choekyi died in his home after the authorities repeatedly rejected his request for hospitalization in Lhasa (Tibet). He had been ill for some time, the result of the harsh treatment he suffered during his captivity.
Choekyi, who was also a Buddhist monk, spent four years in Mianyang (Sichuan) prison. He had been convicted in 2015 for making a shirt that celebrated the 80th birthday of the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. According to sources quoted by Radio Free Asia, he suffered brutal prison torture, which caused severe liver and kidney damage.
Those who were able to visit him recently found him in serious condition. Jetsang Takmik, also a former Tibetan political prisoner, described him as "fragile" and almost unable to speak.
In addition to banning him from reaching Lhasa, the authorities also prevented him from receiving medical care at a facility in his county. The family was ready to pay medical bills.
Family members managed to organize a funeral according to local traditions and rites. Some of them have also been persecuted. On the day of Choekyi's arrest, the police had picked up his sister Kyidzom and his grandson Drakpa. The police detained and beat them for two weeks before releasing them.