By: Daniel McElroy

Kalsang Yarphel

Kalsang Yarphel. Photo via Twitter

Kalsang Yarphel, a famous Tibetan singer who was detained four years ago, has been released from prison in China’s Sichuan province after serving his full sentence. He was convicted in 2014 for promoting Tibetan culture and national identity through songs that the Chinese government deemed “subversive.”

Yarphel, who has been popular among Tibetans for decades, makes music in the Tibetan language that urges his people to unify for independence. This contribution is part of a larger Tibetan independence movement that began seeing widespread protests across the region, as well as in Tibetan-populated regions of China (including the Sichuan and Qinghai provinces), in 2008.

Yarphel is one of many artists who over the last decade have been detained and charged for promoting Tibetan identity. While he joins Achok Phulshung, Pema Thinley, Chakdor, and Pema Rigzin in gaining freedom, at least six other artists remain imprisoned. Please join us in using your voice to speak up on behalf of Lolo, Shawo Tashi, Choksal, Trinley Tsekar, Gongpo Tsezin, and Topden as part of our Free the Artists of Tibet campaign.

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