Dolma Kyab, a teacher in Lhasa, is known among his friends for his passionate concern for Tibet’s environment. Detained in March 2005 he was tried in secret by the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court and was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison. It is believed the charges against him are related to his unpublished manuscript “Restless Himalaya”. At the time of his arrest, Dolma Kyab was a history teacher at a middle school in Lhasa.
Following his sentencing in September 2005, Dolma Kyab appealed against the conviction, but the court upheld the sentence and transferred him to Chushur prison. In a letter from prison smuggled out by friends, Dolma Kyab appeals for help from United Nations committees on human rights, and says that he was imprisoned because of the ideas expressed on Tibet in his unpublished manuscript, which begins with an emotional account of his love for his parents and country:
I grew up in the cradle of my nation. I saw my people live in a higher place in this world. But when I lay on the ground to watch the world, I cried. Those tears were a reasonable response to what was happening in the world. I grew up with the love of my parents. When my parents’ foreheads were creased with love, I cried. These were tears of emotion. Therefore I decided that I would do something for my nation and people like my parents.
Much of Dolma Kyab’s writings express the desire and opinions of Tibetan youth on various issues relating to present day Tibet, such as human rights, democracy, literature and culture. He also expresses deep concerned about the destruction of the Tibetan environment under Chinese policy, for instance pollution of rivers and land by uranium mining.
He reportedly contracted tuberculosis during pre-trial detention, and, after receiving treatment, he was transferred to Chushul Prison in the Tibet Autonomous Region in March 2006. In 2007, PEN received reports that he had been transferred to Seilong (Xining) prison, a labour camp where prisoners undergo ‘Re-education Through Labour’.
He is believed to be in a very poor state of health, receiving insufficient medical care.
Dolma Kyab is an Honorary Member of the English and German PEN.