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Pregnant Tibetan Kills Self After Husband Dies in Police Custody

FILE - An exile Tibetan poses as Runggye Adak as he stands behind bars depicting jail during a street performance by Tibetan activists in Dharmsala, India, Aug.1, 2014.

Sources in China's Sichuan Province says a pregnant Tibetan woman has committed suicide after her husband died in police custody after being shot and tortured.

Speaking from Dharamsala Wednesday, Khenpo Tri Gyurme Dorjee said in an interview with the VOA Tibetan TV program Kunleng that his contacts in the area have told him the woman, who has not been named, hanged herself last week.

“The wife, who was around seven months pregnant, hanged herself on August 18, the day her husband, Jinpa Tharchin’s, body was returned to the family," said Dorjee.

Sources say 18-year-old Jinpa Tharchin succumbed to gunshot injuries after being tortured and denied medical treatment in detention. He was initially wounded when security forces fired into a protest by hundreds of Tibetans against the arrest of their village leader on August 12. Four others also died of gunshot wounds or alleged torture following the crackdown.

The village leader, Wangdak, was arrested for complaining against the mistreatment and harassment of Tibetan women by Chinese authorities.

Chinese officials have not commented on the allegations.

Meanwhile, China has given a nine year prison term to Geshe Tsultrim Nyandak, a monastery teacher from the troubled Driru area of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

His sentence comes more than a year and a half after he disappeared following his arrest in Lhasa. It is not clear what charges he was convicted of.

According to Ngawang Tharpa of Dharamsala, who has close contacts in Tibet, mistreatment of Geshe in the detention center has caused his health to deteriorate significantly. His family says they have seen severe bruises all over his body. The officials have allegedly refused to allow his family to provide any medical intervention.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.