Activist Gonpo Kyi was forcefully taken away in a car on 16th May by Chinese authorities because she staged a peaceful protest despite repeated warnings from the police.
[Posted on T.T Tibetan site 16 May 2023] Gonpo Kyi is the sister of wealthy Tibetan businessman Dorjee Tashi. She was taken away in a police vehicle on 16th May after prostrating in a peaceful protest in front of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Intermediate People’s Court.
In the video recorded by a man who witnessed the arrest, Gonpo Kyi was seen being forcefully shoved into a car by the police. The witness can be heard speaking in Tibetan that Gonpo Kyi is being taken away in a car against her will. Many of the police, who also spoke Tibetan, were seen manhandling her and forcing her into the car. In another video, Gonpo Kyi was seen doing prostrations while wearing traditional Tibetan attire in front of the court.
Recently on May 10th, Gonpo Kyi was detained by the police after she launched a campaign for justice against her brother’s unfair verdict in front of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Intermediate People’s Court. She was shortly released to her home and was warned that she and her brother Dorjee Tsetan would be arrested if they continued to protest. This was approximately the fourth time that the authorities had issued such warnings.
In a video recorded earlier, Gonpo Kyi was seen pleading, “My pleas are within the confines of the law, and as the protector of the law, your (authority’s) judgments must be in line with the law. If my please are not according to the provisions of the law, I will agree to any punishments that you see appropriate”.
It was also witnessed that she was begging the authorities to respect the rule of law. “Certain corrupted officials are undermining the rule of law and ruining the nation. Chinese and Tibetans, officials, and common people are equals under the law. But do we have such equality?” She stated these questions while asserting that her fight for justice would continue until the unfair verdict against her brother was overturned.
Dorjee Tashi, the wealthy Tibetan entrepreneur has never pleaded guilty and in 2020, ten years after his imprisonment, his family and lawyers appealed repeatedly for a retrial. However, their pleas have not been heard. The owner of Yak hotel, Dorjee Tashi was detained and held incommunicado for eight months after the 2008 Pan-Tibet protests on the suspicion of making monetary donations to exile Tibetans and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as a cover for his alleged covert support for the Tibetan movement. His brother was also detained for close to two years.
On May 17, 2010, the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him to life in prison and his brother to six years in prison for charges of “loan fraud” of 1.5 million yuan and sent them to the notorious Drapchi prison known to be the largest one in TAR and infamous for holding prisoners charged with “endangering state security”.
Dorjee Tashi is a well-known and respected figure lauded for his work to alleviate poverty in many Tibetan regions and have also been awarded on multiple occasions for his achievements in business and social work including the TAR ‘Dophen Duppa’ award.