Case Summary: Norzin Wangmo, Political Prisoner
Name: Norzin Wangmo
Status: Serving five years in prison. Has been tortured.
Crime: Communicating via internet and phone about the situation in Tibet.
Prison: Unknown, but thought to be Ngaba prison, Sichuan province.
Chinese & Pinyin Name: 诺增旺姆(音), Longzhen Wangmu
Case Summary: Norzin Wangmo is a female cadre and writer from Ngaba eastern Tibet. She was arrested for using the internet and phone to discuss and send information about the situation in Tibet during the 2008 Uprisings.
The exact details of the charges against her are not known, but she was convicted and sentenced on 3 November 2008 to five years in prison for passing news through the phone and internet about the situation in Tibet to the outside world.
According to a report, Norzin Wangmo, who is described by a friend as ‘Walza’, meaning ‘courageous’, underwent torture following her detention in April.
In recent years, the Chinese authorities have handed down extremely harsh sentences to Tibetans who allegedly passed on information about protests in Tibet; sometimes the sentences for this communication have been harsher than the sentences given to those who participated in protests.
Norzin worked at the Judicial Bureau of Trochu County, Ngaba, and is also a writer. She was detained during the protests in Tibet in early 2008, as were countless others. Ngaba county has seen high levels of political resistance against China’s occupation.
While in detention, an article written by Norzin titled “Games of Politics” was published in the magazine “Popular Arts.”
A friend of Norzin’s wrote a letter to her when she disappeared in spring 2008, and again after learning of her sentence in November. An excerpt of the second letter reads:
“In your thirties, the prime of life, the critical juncture when your child needs educating, you and other heroes and heroines like you parted ways with your parents, split up with your spouses, and made orphans of your children for the sake of truth, and had to take the path alone. Five years is one thousand eight hundred and twenty five days. It is forty three thousand eight hundred hours.
To have to spend the best years of your life in a dark prison cell, what misery! That may be your glory, but as you know, an ocean of inexpressible suffering lies behind that accolade of glory. There is no certainty that the experience will not write the final word on your youth and affection, your dreams and ambitions……… Moreover, if you are someone who is prepared to go to prison for the sake of truth, your son can hardly be an ordinary person.”
For a simple telephone conversation to result in 5 years imprisonment is a striking example of China’s extreme control and repression in Tibet.