Day of the Imprisoned Writer: Go Sherab Gyatso
Occupation: writer, educator and public intellectual
Situation: imprisoned in China
A prominent Tibetan writer, educator and public intellectual, Go Sherab Gyatso, known as Gosher, is serving a 10-year prison sentence reportedly imposed following a secret trial held in late 2021. He was detained by People’s Republic of China (PRC) security services on 26 October 2020, in the Sichuan province’s city of Chengdu on suspicion of inciting secession. He was subsequently transferred to the Tibetan Autonomous Region where he was formally charged on 3 February 2021.
Human rights groups and national governments have called for Gosher’s immediate release, and independent experts of the United Nations, including the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, have expressed serious concern over his imprisonment. There are also ongoing concerns over Gosher’s health and access to adequate medical care, following reports that he was detained while seeking medical treatment for a chronic lung condition.
Gosher, born on 9 September 1976, is the author of over 10 books, including Wake Up (2007), Insights of a Thinker (2013) and Across the Himalayas (2015), and the author of several essays which have been translated into English and are available online. Much of his writing centres on Tibetan Buddhism, language, and culture, and he has been heavily critical of the government’s efforts to undermine Tibetan children’s access to education in their mother tongue.
This is the fourth time that the PRC authorities have imprisoned Gosher, who was previously detained in 1998 and 2008 for his criticism of government restrictions on Tibetan religious and cultural practices, and in 2011 after meeting with a publisher concerning his second book, General Knowledge & the Path (2011).
PEN International considers Go Sherab Gyatso (Gosher)’s imprisonment to be a clear breach of his right to freedom of expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. This is what you can do:
Write to the PRC authorities, calling on them to:
- Release him immediately and unconditionally, and drop all charges against him;
- Pending his release, ensure that he has access to adequate medical care;
- Release all imprisoned writers unjustly imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression and artistic expression
- Abide by their international human rights obligations and uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
Send appeals to:
President XI Jinping
Xichengqu Beijing Shi 10017
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 63070900
Salutation: Your Excellency
Ambassador CHEN Xu
Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland
11, Chemin de Surville 1213 Petit-Lancy
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Raise awareness about his case on social media, using the hashtags #GoSherabGyatso, #Gosher and #ImprisonedWriter, tagging @pen_int with a message like:
📢 Join the Fight for Justice: Stand with #GoSherabGyatso, prominent Tibetan writer, unjustly imprisoned in the PRC. Write to President Xi Jinping now, calling for his immediate release, and for all charges against him to be dropped. Make sure he has access to essential medical care while imprisoned. #ImprisonedWriter #Gosher
Messages of solidarity can be sent using the form here.
We also encourage you to highlight Go Sherab Gyatso (Gosher)’s case, and the state of freedom of expression in the PRC, by:
Please keep us informed of your activities. Messages can be sent to Ross Holder, Head of Asia/ Pacific Region: email@example.com and Sabrina Tucci, PEN International Communications and Campaigns Manager, Sabrina.Tucci@pen-international.org