Tibetan monks escape to Dharamshala after serving twelve years sentence

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Dharamshala, Jan 31 : Two Buddhist monks, after serving twelve years rigorous imprisonment in Tibet for pasting a pro-independence poster, have escaped to Dharamshala in India.

Jampha Yeshi, 38, and his friend Lobsang Palden were accused of 'counter-revolutionary crimes' in the Chinese administered Tibetan Autonomous region. They alleged that the Chinese administration tortured them while serving the sentence.

"A court had convicted us under the charges of 'counter-revolutionary crimes' in April 1994 and sentenced 12 years' rigorous imprisonment. All of us who were imprisoned were tortured by the Chinese administration," said Palden.

The two monks managed masquerading as businessmen.

They said that their only fault was that they sought public donations for carrying out restoration work.

"After a refusal by the government office in Linkashur Township to help repair the monastery, agitated monks of the Serva monastery removed a signboard outside the office and pasted pro-independence posters," said Yeshi.

"We were released from the jail in March 2006 but were denied political rights for four years. We were also barred from entering any monastery or conducting religious ceremonies in the houses of Tibetans," Yeshi added.

The monks alleged that after being released in 2006, the Chinese kept them under constant vigil and were not allowed to work in higher offices. They had no other option but to escape.

Tibet became an "autonomous region" of the People's Republic of China in 1965. India has officially recognised it as part of China in 2003.

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