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Congressman Capuano and Local Somerville Group Urge Release of Political Prisoners of Conscience in Tibet

April 6, 1999 -- Working in conjunction with Somerville's Amnesty International chapter, Congressman Michael E. Capuano urged Chinese President Jiang Zemin to release Political Prisoners of Conscience in Tibet. In a letter to President Zemin, Representative Capuano expressed concern for the lengthy prison sentences given to Sister Phuntsog Nyidron and former school teacher Jigme Sangpo and asked for their release.

Somerville's Local Amnesty International Chapter 133 traveled to New York City on April 5th to participate in the fourth annual Amnesty International "Get on the Bus" event in support of Sister Nyidron and Mr. Sangpo. This year's activities coincide with The International Day of Action for Tibet on April 5, 1999. The group protested in front of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations and the Chinese Consulate for the release of prisoners of conscience.

Sister Nyidron was apprehended on October 14, 1989 for participating in a peaceful demonstration in Lhasa, Tibet. She is currently serving a 17 year sentence and is suffering in abhorrent prison conditions under which her health has drastically deteriorated. Mr. Jigme Sangpo is only halfway through his 28 year sentence for exclaiming and distributing pro-independence materials. Evidence suggests Mr. Sangpo has suffered mentally and physically while being subjected to numerous cruel and inhumane abuses in Drapchi prison.