Prisoner reunites with traumatized family after quake

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 25, 2010
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In a hospital ward, 31-year-old prison inmate Samphel, hugs his father, cousin and elder sister, tears in their eyes.

It is their first reunion since the quake April 14 that has killed at least 2,192 people, including Samphel's niece, in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of northwest China's Qinghai Province.

Still serving his term for robbery in Xichuan Prison of provincial capital Xining City, Samphel was allowed Saturday to visit his family members being treated in the same city.

As they chat, Samphel sits at the bedside of his sister Padma, holding her hand firmly. She suffered a broken leg, a seriously injured lower-back and lost her 17-year-old daughter in the quake.

"Padma never reveals her feelings in front of us. We only hear her weeping alone at night. She is traumatized. We hope her brother's visit can bring some comfort," said doctor Li Dongling.

"I will behave well to earn an early release from prison so I can pray in the temples for the dead and rebuild our homeland with my family as soon as possible," Samphel said.

Samphel was among the first to donate to the quake zone. He even wrote a story to a newspaper, remembering the people who died, said Deputy Warden Wang Jianming, who accompanied Samphel to the hospital.

More than 100 prisoners were residents of Yushu. Some of them lost family members in the quake. Many others lost contact with their families, Wang said.

The prison is doing its best to keep the prisoners updated about their family members. Also, it has been arranging family reunions since April 21. So far, five prisoners have met with family members being treated in Xining, Wang added.

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