According to sources, Tibetan monk and song lyricist Lobsang Jinpa was released from prison on 30 October 2017 after serving out his full five-year sentence on charges related to lyrics he contributed to an album by fellow Tibetan musician Lo Lo, who remains in prison for his music.
Freemuse welcomes Jinpa’s release, but remains concerned that it only comes after serving his full sentence. Jinpa was arrested in September 2012.
Freemuse calls on Chinese authorities to release all Tibetan artists who are imprisoned for their expressions, and to respect and defend their human right to freedom of artistic expression, including their right to express their culture and beliefs.
Jinpa – a monk at the Zilkar Monastery in Tibet – wrote lyrics on the subject of the 1995 disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, a six-year-old boy who was named and recognized by the 14th and current Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lama is the second highest ranking monk in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The song appeared on Lo Lo’s album “Raise the Tibetan Flag, Children of the Snowland”, which drew attention from Chinese authorities.
News of Jinpa’s release was delayed due to restrictions imposed by the government during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which took place 18-24 October 2017, according to Radio Free Asia.
Musicians Lo Lo, Shawo Tashi, Trinley Tsekar and Gonpo Tenzin, among other artists, remain imprisoned in China for their art.
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