Painter dies in prison

Kalsang Dawa, a 29-year-old painter from Phenpo, one of the more than 1000 political prisoners in Tibet, has died mysteriously, while serving his prison term. According to his close friend, Kalsang died in October 1995 in Sangyip Prison.

The prison officials reported to his mother Tenzin, aged 50, that Kalsang died in hospital as a result of a complicated old disease. However his friends and relatives report that he was totally fit and had no health problems whatsoever. They believe that Kalsang Dawa was severely tortured and received harsh treatment in prison which could have been the reason for his death. As compensation the prison authorities paid his mother 10,000 Chinese yuan (US$1250)

Kalsang Dawa was first arrested in 1979 when he was just 13 years old. He had reportedly opposed the Chinese Commune System by writing insults on a piece of paper which was seen by Chinese Officials and was imprisoned for one year and a half.

He was arrested again in late April 1993 after forbidden Tibetan national flags, cassettes and other materials on Tibet were found in his possession during a raid.

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