Prisoners in labour camp

A TCHRD source has reported that there are about nine political prisoners in Powo Tramo’s labour camp. All are serving long sentences and are subject to deplorable prison conditions.

Powo Tramo, situated near Kongpo-Nyingtri (Chinese: Linzhi) about 500 km east of Lhasa, holds prisoners serving long term sentences. Despite a very poor diet the prisoners are put to hard labour. The prisoners cells are often flooded with water as the area is prone to floods. The roads connecting the prison to the villages are cut off most of the year due to the floods and relatives of the prisoners are able to visit only once or twice a year.

Of the known political prisoners in Powo Tramo’s Labour Camp, there are eight monks and one former Lhasa University student. Five monks from Serwa Monastery – Jampa Tashi, Lobsang Palden, Jigme Dorje, Lobsang Tsegye and Pema Tsering – were arrested on 29 March 1994 after allegedly breaking the name-plate on a government building and pasting up independence slogans in Pakshoe Ritri, about 226 km south of Chamdo.

The monks were accused of “counter-revolutionary sabotage” and sentenced on 6 July 1994 at a public trial by a court of Pakshoe county, Chamdo Prefecture. Jampa Tashi, aged 28, and Lobsang Palden were sentenced to 12 years each, while Jigme Dorje, Lobsang Tsegye and Pema Tsering were all sentenced to 15 years.

Tenpa Wangdak and Lobsang Palden (also known as Gyadar), both from Ganden Monastery, were first imprisoned on 5 March 1988, They were transferred from Drapchi Prison to Powo Tramo on 28 April 1994. Gyaltsen from Chamdo Monastery is also serving his term in Powo Tramo.

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