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Tibet's "Singing Nun" Escapes to India

Palden Choedron

One of 14 "singing nuns" has arrived in Dharamsala, after her release from an eight-year sentence in Tibet's Drapchi prison and three years in a "reform labour camp", a report by the Washington based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said on Monday.

Palden Choedron, a former nun at Shungsib nunnery was sentenced to three years imprisonment in Drapchi for joining a peaceful protest in the Barkhor in 1990. Her sentence was extended for further five years after joining 13 other nuns in recording patriotic and religious songs in their prison cells.

The group of 14 women became known as the "singing nuns" after they smuggled out a recording of songs in praise of the Dalai Lama and Tibet from their prison cells. All 14 nuns suffered severe torture leading to the death of one of them, Ngawang Lochoe.

Palden Choedron had earlier attempted to escape from Tibet after serving eight-year sentence in Drapchi prison but was caught and served three years in a "reform through labour" camp. She is the last of the 14 "singing nuns" to be released from prison and the eighth of the "singing nuns" to arrive into exile in India.

5 of the singing nuns, Tenzin Thubten, Ngawang Choekyi, Jigme Yangchen, Ngawang Choezom, and Ngawang Tsamdrol remain in Tibet, while eight are now in exile.

Information for this report was provided by ICT