Tibetan prisoner released after more than a decade in prison following 2008 protests

  Dashar being greeted upon his release from prison.

A Tibetan who participated in the March 2008 protests in Lhasa has returned home two months after the end of a decade-long prison sentence.

Dashar, from Sershul in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi), the Tibetan area of Kham, was imprisoned in Lhasa charged with involvement in protests on March 10, 2008, beginning a wave of demonstrations that swept across Tibet prior to the Beijing Olympics that summer.

He was due for release on March 15 but was not released until this week. Dashar’s daughter, who lives in exile, confirmed his release and his welcome home by Tibetans with ceremonial scarves. Details about his state of health are also not known; most released prisoners need thorough checkups and often many months of medical care.

Two monks who were arrested at the same time as Dashar were released from prison on March 10, 2013, in critical condition following torture and harsh interrogation. Monks Lobsang Ngodrup and Soepa, both in their late thirties, were believed to have been involved in the same protest – a demonstration in front of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, protesting at the government’s crackdown on peaceful protests held earlier that day on March 10, 2008.

Tibetan former political prisoners remain under intense surveillance, and because they are still perceived by the authorities as a ‘threat’ to the Chinese Party state, they often face isolation, fear and anxiety, in addition to chronic health conditions, pain and trauma.