Action from Group 22 Newsletter Aug 2002

Letter to China's Minister of Justice

Ngawang Pekar, Tibetan Monk

Our group is committed to work for the release of Ngawang Pekar, a
Tibetan monk who has been imprisoned by the Chinese authorities since
his arrest in 1989 for participating in a peaceful demonstration in

Group 22 continues to strive for the release of our "adopted"
prisoner of conscience (POC) Ngawang Pekar (naw-wan pee-kar). Pekar
is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who has been imprisoned since 1989 after
being arrested by Chinese authorities for participating in a peaceful
demonstration in support of Tibetan independence.

In our June, 2002 newsletter it was reported that four nuns belonging
to a group of prisoners dubbed the "Drapchi 14" had obtained early
releases. It has now been confirmed that two more members of the
group, Gyaltsen Drolkar and Ngawang Choezom, have also been released
five months and nine months respectively ahead of their scheduled
release dates. Although the exact reasons for their early releases
are unknown, both nuns had been the adopted POCs of AIUSA groups that
actively worked for their releases for a number of years.
Congratulations are therefore in order for AIUSA Group 133 for the
release of Gyaltsen Drolkar and AIUSA Group 30 for the release of
Ngawang Choezom!

In a message recently sent to Amnesty International, former POC
Palden Gyatso wrote "I would like to thank everyone in Amnesty and
other organizations for their long standing and hard work for Tibetan
political prisoners and for the emphasis to people like Tanag Jigme
Sangpo, who now has been released. Thank you very much for this.
Please don't forget however the political prisoners that are still in
prison in Tibet today, particularly the prisoners that got their
sentences extended after the May 1998 incidents. Once more thank you
very much."

Although Ngawang Pekar's release date should be scheduled for
sometime next year, as early release dates appear to be occurring
with increasing frequency we should seek the same for Pekar. This
month, we ask that you write to the Minister of Justice of the
People's Republic of China. Below is a sample letter you can copy or
use as a guide in composing your own:

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you out of concern for a prisoner being held in Tibet
Autonomous Region Prison No. 1. The prisoner's name is NGAWANG PEKAR
(layname: Paljor).
Ngawang Pekar, a Tibetan monk, was arrested in 1989 for participating
in a peaceful demonstration in the city of Lasashi and sentenced to 8
years in prison. Subsequently, his sentence was increased by an
additional 6 years.

Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience
and I am concerned that he has been imprisoned solely for the
peaceful exercise of his universally recognized right to freedom of
expression. I am further deeply concerned about reports that he has
been beaten and denied access to medical care since his arrest.

I respectfully urge you to request that Ngawang Pekar's case be
reviewed and that he be immediately and unconditionally released in
accordance with the international laws to which China is signatory. I
further request that he be allowed access to independent
non-governmental agencies so that his current state of well being may
be determined and made known.
I thank you for your attention to this important matter and would
greatly appreciate any further information that your office may be
able to provide.

Address your letter to:

ZHANG Fusen Buzhang
Beijingshi 100016
People's Republic of China