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Human Rights Update 1997

Independence: “A Daylight dream”

When Chinese officials enter your monastery, snatch away your freedom to practise your religious faith, replace your spiritual lessons with communist ideology and finally scorn your dreams of national independence, it is difficult to do nothing. When the Chinese work-team proclaimed: “Tibet’s independence is a daylight dream and is never to come true”, Lobsang, a monk in Dunbhu Choekhor Monastery, dared to defend his beliefs. For this he was sentenced to four years imprisonment. Lobsang, (ordained name Jamyang Kunga), is 25 years old and comes from Lhangthang Dechen village in Namgyal shol township under Lhoka Gonkar county. He arrived in …

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Painter dies in prison

Kalsang Dawa, a 29-year-old painter from Phenpo, one of the more than 1000 political prisoners in Tibet, has died mysteriously, while serving his prison term. According to his close friend, Kalsang died in October 1995 in Sangyip Prison. The prison officials reported to his mother Tenzin, aged 50, that Kalsang died in hospital as a result of a complicated old disease. However his friends and relatives report that he was totally fit and had no health problems whatsoever. They believe that Kalsang Dawa was severely tortured and received harsh treatment in prison which could have been the reason for his …

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Appeal letter from Drapchi political prisoners

The only prison in Tibet acknowledged by the Chinese is the “TAR” prison no. 1, more commonly known as Drapchi Prison, located in Lhasa. Currently there are 253 political prisoners, ranging in age from 15 to 70 and with prison terms ranging from 1 year to 19 years. The following letter (translated from Tibetan) was, miraculously, able to escape the intense security of Drapchi prison authorities. The prisoners who wrote the letter have risked life-threatening torture and arbitrary sentence extensions by daring to speak out about the prison conditions in Drapchi. Their words are a testimony of the daily suffering …

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