Tibetan monk sentenced to jail in China for campaign to stop killing and selling of animals

New Delhi, December 20 (IANS): Chinese authorities have sentenced a Tibetan monk to three years in prison for taking part in a campaign that encouraged local residents to kill and sell animals, according to a media report.

Monlam Gyatso, a Tibetan monk, writer and teacher from Raktam village in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, was held in an undisclosed location for more than a year before his trial in October earlier this year, sources said, RFA reported.

A source inside Tibet, speaking to RFA on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said Monlam Gyatso was “arrested by the Chinese government on June 9, 2021. His whereabouts remain unknown.”

“In October 2022, he was sentenced to three years in prison, but we don’t know the exact date yet. However. [learning of] his sentence, it is still unclear where he is and in what condition he is,” the source added, RFA reported.

A strict information blackout by regional authorities makes it difficult to confirm developments in Gyatso’s case for weeks or months.

Another Tibetan source, speaking to RFA from exile, said authorities punished Gyatso for supporting a “10-point regulation campaign” launched by a monk at Kardze’s Larung Ghar monastery to “stop people from killing and selling animals.”

Chinese authorities have reportedly stepped up the campaign, with the source saying the Chinese government has accused its supporters of “destroying the residents’ ecosystem and livelihood,” RFA reported.

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