Topden (better known as Dro Ghang Gah) is a Tibetan poet who was sentenced to five years in prison on November 30, 2013 on official charges of “keeping contacts with Dalai clique,” referring to his Buddhist religion. However, multiple organizations in Tibet and abroad believe that Topden was specifically targeted for his writings, which frequently lament the state of his homeland under Chinese rule. An excerpt from his poem “Sad Song of Diru” appears below:
In the year 1969
For the sake of Tibetan freedom
Hundreds of brave souls
Were massacred by the Chinese…
Looking up at the vast blue sky
I could see vultures hovering
The narrow space and group of widows
Is there a time more miserable?
Topden, who has a wife and three children, is currently being detained in Nagchu Prefecture, Tibet, and is expected to remain there until November 2018.