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Human Rights Update 1997

Profile: Body broke, spirit strong

Nuns in the Chinese prisons in Tibet are often targeted for fatal punishment and torture. Many of them are permanently scarred and disfigured. Gyaltsen Choezom is one such woman. A Garu nun of 29 years, Gyaltsen is serving nine years in Drapchi prison for exercising her right of freedom of expression. Although she is due to be released in two years time she will carry the painful reminder of her prison life. Gyaltsen Choezom is a 29-year-old nun from Garu Nunnery, near Lhasa. She is originally from Taktse County. Gyaltsen’s parents are farmers and she has two older brothers and …

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Compulsory slaughter

Tibetan Buddhists consider the slaughter of any living creature a sin. Yet recent reports from Tibet’s rural areas reveal that Chinese authorities are forcing Tibetan farmers and nomads to do exactly that. Lobsang Gyaltsen, a recently-arrived refugee from Tibet, report that his family and the others In his village are forced each year to kill 30 Percent of their livestock. “We are allowed to keep only 70 percent of our animals and must kill the other 30 percent. Some animals are “worth” more than others. For example, every cow is worth six sheep and so, if we have 100 cows, …

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Tortured for defending Panchen Lama

Since the Dalai Lama announced the discovery of the reincarnate Panchen Lama in May 1995, Chinese authorities have waged a brutal campaign against those who openly support him. Lobsang Shakya, a monk at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery – the seat of the Panchen Lama – was among those who refused to denounce the Panchen Lama in favour of the boy chosen by Chinese authorities. He suffered a series of prison interrogations, torture, hospitalisation and hospital interrogations. “They suspended me from the ceiling and beat me with blows and kicks all over my body while they interrogated me about why I had …

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