Golog Jigme, aka Jigme Gyatso, is a Buddhist monk and human rights activist who was jailed and tortured for making the documentary “Leaving Fear Behind” in 2008 together with Dhondup Wangchen. He was arrested in March 2008 and released after months of torture. In 2009, he was arrested again without charges and kept in custody for several months. However, he suffered from continued harassment by the police and then disappeared in 2012. A few months after he escaped a police detention center, the police started a hunt for him under false charges. Golog Jigme was listed by Reporters Without Borders among their list of “100 Information Heroes” on World Press Freedom Day.
Jigme Gyatso is the most high profile former Tibetan political prisoner and torture survivor to have escaped Tibet recently. After escaping from Tibet, he arrived in Switzerland in January 2015 and was granted political asylum. Ever since, he has continued to be a strong advocate for the Tibetan people’s rights. He is a part of the Tibet Advocacy Coalition where he works together with supporters and Tibetans to hold China accountable for its human rights violations in Tibet through engagement with UN mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva.
Tsering Woeser, a well known Tibetan blogger and writer says:
“In fact, he would always worry about his friends’ safety and wellbeing, he would never talk much about his own sufferings. He has an optimistic personality, his voice is bright and clear, his round face is always smiling. Meeting him doesn’t actually reveal who he really is, it is impossible to imagine that this courageous person was tortured and nearly died.”
Golog Jigme says:
“My biggest hope is that a day will come for me to safely return to Tibet. In the meantime, my future plan is to be a voice for Tibetans inside Tibet, to bring their aspirations and difficulties to the world stage and make sure that governments, NGOs and individuals hear it.”
“2008 was the most difficult imprisonment for me because I was tortured brutally. The torture was more cruel and severe than during the other detentions. For 1 month and 22 days I was continuously tortured and I don’t remember a single day during this detention when I wasn’t tortured.”