Aug 3, 2006

Writer jailed for unpublished work asks UN to intervene

Dolma Gyab was secretly arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison after writing a book about Tibet.
The 29-year-old teacher wrote: “I have written a book which was not yet published. In this book I wrote about democracy, freedom and the situation of Tibet. That is the main reason for my conviction, but according to Chinese law this would be not enough reason to give me such a sentence.”

His case has been kept secret since his arrest in March 2005 in Lhasa, where he was teaching history at a city middle school. He had written a 57-chapter book called Restless Himalayas and had also begun a book on Tibetan geography, which was believed to touch on such sensitive topics as the locations of Chinese military camps in Tibet. These unpublished papers were apparently found in his home.


Tibet experts said that this was the most severe sentence to be handed down for several years. One expressed astonishment that the case could have been kept secret for so long.When the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, visited China in November, he was given access to prisoners at Chusul. But the case of the young writer was not then known. Dolma Gyab writes that he was hidden from the visitor. “I did not have a chance to talk about the real situation here and my unfair trial.”

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