Zangkar Jamyang was declared a “separatist” for having posted an article on the Internet.
by Lopsang Gurung
It has been confirmed that Zangkar (also spelled TsanKar) Jamyang (whose name, ཟངས་དཀར་འཇམ་དབྱངས་ in Tibetan, was transliterated as “Sangga Jiangyang” by the Chinese authorities), had been sentenced to four years of detention for “separatism” by the court of Gakog (Ch. Hongyuan) county, under the administration of Ngaba (Ch. Ngawa) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (阿壩藏族羌族自治州, population one million). This prefecture is located in the province of Sichuan and is part of historical Tibet, although it is outside present-day Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The majority of its population is Tibetan.
Zangkar was born in 1976 in the same Ngaba prefecture, and is a well-known writer. He contributed to literary magazine and had published a book, “Struggle with Wild Tongue” (འཕག་འཚག་རྒོད་པའི་ལྕེ།).
On May 25, 2020, Zangkar authored an article of protest, posted it on the Internet, and circulated the text through social media. He did not advocate for independence of Tibet or “separatism” but only discussed the language issue, stating that learning Tibetan was a duty for all Tibetans.
He was detained on June 4, 2020, for “spreading rumors on social media,” but the more serious charge of “separatism” was later added. He was then sentenced to a severe jail term, and is currently in the jail located in the prefecture-level city of Mianyang, in Sichuan province. The sentence was kept secret. His family heard about it in December 2022, and a confirmation followed in March 2023.
If you are a Tibetan and want to maintain your Tibetan identity, even posting an article on the Internet may earn you several years in jail.