China: Tibetan musician sentenced to 6 years in jail for ‘separatist activities’

13 November 2020
Lhundrub Drakpa playing guitar
Image: Musician Lhundrub Drakpa in a music video / Screenshot from Black Hat video, High Peaks Pure Earth on YouTube


According to reports from October 2020, a Chinese court in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in June 2020 sentenced Tibetan musician Lhundrub Drakpa to 6 years in jail for “separatist activities” concerning his song Black Hat, reported Daily Sun.

The charges relate to the song released in March 2019, in which Drakpa criticizes the restrictive Chinese policies. High Peaks Pure Earth translated the song Black Hat, which includes lyrics such as:

“On the heads of a sincere and truthful people

A black hat has been forcefully put on

For years and months under this black hat

They’ve suffered as if hell is on earth.”

As Tibet Sun reports, Chinese authorities arrested the musician in May 2019 and held him in arbitrary detention in Nagchu jail.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) calls for the release of Lhundrub Drakpa from arbitrary detention.

Lhundrub Drakpa is one of the most prominent Tibetan singers in the region. He is passionate about Tibetan culture and artistic traditions, and he focuses his art on communicating pride in Tibetan culture.

In 2019 Freemuse witnesses a clampdown on artists and other citizens who questioned Beijing’s dominant celebratory narrative, as reported in its State of Artistic Freedom 2020.

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