Tag Archives | Khenpo Kartse
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11 Members of Congress Urge Secretary Kerry to Raise Cases of Tibetan Political Prisoners with Chinese Government

April 1, 2016

On March 31, 2016, as President Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington, D.C., 11 Members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Kerry urging him to raise the cases of three Tibetan political prisoners — Khenpo Karma Tsewang (also known as Khenpo Kartse), Lobsang Kunchok, and Thabkhe Gyatso—with the Chinese government.

The letter urged the United States “to raise their cases with the Chinese government, make every effort to obtain information about their whereabouts and health status, press for necessary medical treatment, and prioritize their release.”

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Popular religious teacher Khenpo Kartse sentenced

October 22, 2014

Tibetan sources have reported that popular religious teacher Khenpo Kartse, who has been held in detention since December 2013, has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Radio Free Asia cited a Tibetan source as saying that his trial was held two to three months ago at a court in Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu), in the Tibet Autonomous Region. An image of Khenpo Kartse (Khenpo means abbot and Kartse is the shortened form of his name, Karma Tsewang) in a blue prison shirt over a jacket and in handcuffs, thought to be taken just after his detention, has circulated on Chinese social media (Radio Free Asia, October 17, 2014).[1] Khenpo Kartse’s Chinese lawyer has not been allowed access to him for some time.

Khenpo Kartse’s detention caused widespread distress, with hundreds of Tibetans gathering peacefully to protest his arrest at a prayer ceremony, and a rare silent vigil on his behalf outside a prison earlier this year. In a further demonstration of the strength of local feeling about the lama’s arrest, officials from his home area of Nangchen travelled to Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) where the Khenpo is being held, to express their concerns about the innocence of Khenpo Kartse, but to no avail, according to Tibetan sources in exile in contact with people in the region.[2]

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New information about imprisoned Tibetan abbot raises fears

June 26, 2014

This report is an updated version of the report that was posted on June 24.

There is serious concern for the welfare of a respected and popular Tibetan lama, Khenpo (Abbot) Karma Tsewang, who remains in prison six months on from his detention without access to relatives, or doctor, and only intermittent access to his lawyer. Karma Tsewang, also known as Khenpo Kartse, is seriously ill with a liver condition according to Tibetan sources, and there are fears that he faces serious criminal charges.

Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser, who is based in Beijing, gave new information about possible charges against the Tibetan monk in a blog published on the six-month anniversary of Khenpo Kartse’s detention. She reported that his Chinese lawyer was told that charges against the Khenpo have changed from those of ‘endangering national security’ to ‘illegal harboring’ and ‘divulging state secrets’, connected to a self-immolation. When his lawyer, who was allowed only brief access to Khenpo Kartse, raised concerns about his health he was told that “because this was a major case involving stability maintenance they would not allow him to be released, and instead would continue to hold him in detention”, according to Woeser. The specific charges against him may not be clear if the case continues to be handled in secret.

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gathered to push for the release of popular Tibetan lama

Hundreds of Tibetans gather in third peaceful protest for imprisoned Tibetan lama

February 10, 2014

A huge crowd of hundreds of Tibetans gathered peacefully at a prayer festival in eastern Tibet last week to call for the release of a respected Tibetan lama who was imprisoned in December and may face criminal charges. The gathering followed a rare silent vigil outside a prison on January 15 to protest the detention of Khenpo (abbot) Kartse (Karma Tsewang), indicating the strength of concern about the popular monk, who is said to be seriously ill in prison with a liver condition (ICT report, Rare vigil outside prison to support popular Tibetan monk).

The latest protest occurred on the last day, February 6, of a five-day prayer festival (Monlam) held at Japa monastery in Nangchen (Chinese: Nanqian) county in Qinghai’s Yulshul (Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The Tibetans, from Nangchen and surrounding areas in the Tibetan region of Kham, gathered for a peaceful sit-in protest from 10 am until 3 pm “to express their indignation and disappointment at the lack of clear explanations from authorities on the status of Khenpo Kartse,” a Tibetan source told Radio Free Asia (RFA, Thousands of Tibetans Pressure Monastery to Push for Monk’s Release). The crowd dispersed after they were assured that the people’s concerns would be addressed “in a few days”.

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Silent protest outside Nangchen prison

Rare vigil outside prison to support popular Tibetan monk

January 17, 2014

  • Hundreds of Tibetan monks, nuns, and laypeople gathered in a rare vigil outside a prison on Wednesday (January 15) to protest the detention of a respected and popular Tibetan lama, Khenpo (Abbot) Karma Tsewang, who was imprisoned in December and may face criminal charges.
  • The silent vigil this week, held outside the high walls topped with barbed wire of Nangchen (Chinese: Nangqian) prison, followed an earlier peaceful demonstration also involving hundreds of monks, who held home-made banners calling for his release. Sixteen of the monks were detained; their whereabouts and welfare is not known.
  • Karma Tsewang (known as Khenpo Kartse), who is known for his environmental activism, disaster relief work, and commitment to the preservation of Tibetan language, wrote a letter from prison on December 27 appealing to his supporters that no one should suffer for his sake.
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