Tibetan political prisoners denied family visits over ‘COVID concerns’

Radio Free Asia-Reported by Sangyal Kunchok

Restriction leaves relatives guessing as to condition of incarcerated relatives.

Authorities in western China’s Sichuan and Qinghai provinces are barring family visits for Tibetan prisoners held in political cases, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Tibetan sources say.

The restriction remains in force even though no cases of infection have been reported for more than a year in Sichuan’s Mianyang prison or the detention center in Minyak Yak-nga (in Chinese, Ya’an), a prefecture-size city in the western part of the province, a family member of two political prisoners said.

Prisoners in the past have been able to meet with relatives separated by a glass wall, and their families could bring in goods that had been inspected by prison authorities, RFA has learned.

“But now, family members are not allowed to meet their imprisoned relatives even while socially distanced, and families may not send in any clothes, food items or medicines,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons. Click here to read more.