Tibetan university student was sentenced to three years in prison for contacting Tibetan in exile

The postgraduate student, Nyima and Sichuan University for Nationalities. Photo: Tibet times and file

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Dharamshala — Nyima, a university student from Dhartsedho, Kham province, Tibet, was sentenced to three years in prison on June 5, 2022, by Chinese authorities for allegedly leaking state secrets to the outside of Tibet.

According to a reliable source, Nyima, a native of Shelian village in Dhartsedho city, Kham region, eastern Tibet, was arrested in January 2022 by Chinese police in Dhartsedho on suspicion of being a spy. After five months in detention, he was sentenced to three years in prison by the Dhartsedho Intermediate People's Court on June 5, 2022.

“Nyima was arrested by the Dhartsedho local police in January 2022, on suspicion of being a spy, because he was a translator for foreign tourists and introduced the history and situation of Tibet to the tourists,” said the source, citing information in Tibet.

"He is a postgraduate student at Sichuan University for Nationalities (Ch:四川民族学院), where he is doing research on Tibetan culture. He has been very interested in the Tibetan language in general," the source added on condition of anonymity for security reasons. 

Related information, such as where he is imprisoned, his state of health, and the reason for his three-year imprisonment, remains unknown due to the strict control of the information flow from Tibet to the rest of the world.

Nyima hails from Shelian village in Dhartsedho city, Kham region, eastern Tibet, (Chi: Kangding City, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture).

Over the past 70 decades, there has been ongoing political repression, social discrimination, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation, particularly due to Chinese migration to Tibet which is fueling intense resentment among the people of occupied Tibet.

The communist-totalitarian state of China began its invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse — a unifying theme among the Tibetans — as was their own language, literature, art, and worldview developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.