Sources in China say a Tibetan monk who provided a rare account to the outside world of last year's crackdown on Tibetan protesters is now free.
Sources who spoke to VOA Tibetan Service Monday said authorities in the northwestern city of Lanzhou have released the monk, Jigme Guri, after six months of detention. Further details were not immediately available.
Human rights groups said police in Gansu province arrested the monk last November after VOA's Tibetan language service aired his videotaped account. VOA also made the tape available for viewing on the Internet (VOA YouTube Part 1 & 2) at the monk's request.
The monk who identified himself only as Jigme said in the video that police detained him for nearly two months last year as part of a crackdown on monks at Labrang monastery in southern Gansu.
In a separate development Monday, Tibetan students held a demonstration against the Chinese government at a primary school near Labrang.
Last month, police briefly blockaded the same school after students held a peaceful demonstration against government policies. The India-based Tibetan government-in-exile said students are angry that school authorities forced them to study official commentaries denouncing Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Tibetans in southern Gansu launched anti-government protests last year in solidarity with similar protests across the Tibetan plateau.
Jigme has denied involvement in the protests. In the video, the monk said he was first arrested in late March and accused of participating in protests by Tibetans in the town where Labrang monastery is located. He said he was hospitalized twice for injuries sustained during his detention.
The Dalai Lama has said recent cases against Tibetans in connection with last year's anti-government protests are politically motivated. China's Foreign Ministry has dismissed the charge and said the cases are being handled according to Chinese law.