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Former political prisoner dies at 50

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Yeshi Gyatso, who was tortured during his time in prison, dies at fifty

A former Tibetan political prisoner has died at the age of fifty following his release from prison where he was beaten and tortured in Chinese custody.

Yeshi Gyatso, from Tsammo Yartheng village in Rebkong County, north-eastern Tibet, was arrested on 31 March 2008 for his involvement in the 2008 protests. He was also accused of sharing information of other peaceful protests in Rebkong County.

Chinese security forces beat, interrogated and tortured Gyatso severely while in prison, Tibet Watch said, adding that he suffered ill physical health and psychological trauma after his release because of the treatment. 

Gyatso passed away at his home on 1 May.

He’s one of many Tibetans to have suffered ill health following his release from prison. Perhaps the most renowned case is Buddhist monk Palden Gyatso, the first Tibetan political prisoner to bring his experiences to the United Nations.

His torture by Chinese authorities included electric shocks on his tongue. He used his experiences to campaign for Tibetan freedom following his release.