April 2, 2013 by tonyberkman
A popular Tibetan activist has been freed after serving 17 years in prison with hard labor for seeking independence for Tibet and calling for the long life of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, according to a Tibetan source.
Jigme Gyatso, 52, a former monk, appeared “very weak” when he returned Monday to his home after being released from Chushul prison near Tibet’s capital Lhasa on Saturday.
Jigme Gyatso, who was the leader of the Association of Tibetan Freedom Movement, was sentenced in 1996 to 15 years in prison on charges of being a “counter-revolutionary ringleader” and endangering national security.
The Chinese authorities added three more years to his sentence in 2004 for “inciting separatism” when he shouted in prison for the long life of Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in Dharamsala.
A year after he was sentenced, he was beaten so badly that he could barely walk afterwards, Amnesty said…
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