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Trinley Tsering returned to his hometown of Ngaba on March 30, 2017, having been released from Mianyang Prison in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Photo: TDT

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Dharamshala — A Tibetan political prisoner has been released from Mianyang prison in China's Sichuan Province, after serving nine years in Chinese prison, for allegedly sharing online information about events in Tibet abroad.

Trinley Tsering returned to his hometown of Ngaba on March 30, 2017, having been released from Mianyang Prison in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Sources said "It is currently unknown whether or not he suffered any health issues in prison. It remains unclear whether he is allowed to join his monastery."

Tsering was arrested by Chinese police, in late March 2008 after sharing photos of Tibetans shot dead by the Chinese military in Ngaba County, during nationwide mass protests which rocked the entire Tibet.

The monk distributed images of the brutal clampdown that followed widespread protests. A court in Barkham County later charged him with "leaking state secrets to foreign countries," sources told TPI.

"A Chinese court in Barkham county handed him a nine-year prison term for his alleged act of sharing news about the crackdown on his monastery with the outside world," the sources said, speaking under condition of anonymity.

Chinese authorities escorted Tsering and his family from the prison to his hometown at night to avoid a grand welcome but despite the arrangements several monks were present to welcome him home when he arrived.

Chinese authoritarian regime has barred foreign journalists from entering almost all parts of Tibet to cover recent incidents of Tibetan protests. The former head of the Communist Party in Tibet, Chen Quanguo, has ordered local authorities to step up surveillance of all means of communication, particularly mobile phones and the Internet, in order to “maintain the public's interests and national security".

In 2012, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international media watchdog has alarmed at the blackout imposed by Chinese authorities on Tibet, include the provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai, as well as the autonomous region of Tibet, preventing all media coverage of protest movements there.

The RSF said that Chinese authorities are also "trying to restrict all communication between the region and the rest of the world." The Internet is a secondary victim of the crackdown. Connections are cut off, access is blocked and content linked to the unrest is removed – any method can be used to prevent netizens taking over the baton from journalists and publishing news and information that might embarrass Beijing over its handling of any unrest in Tibet.

Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation". 

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