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Human Rights Update 1997

Female prisoners suffer inhuman torture

The following is the testimony of Rinzin Choenyi, a 26-year-old nun of Shugseb Nunnery, who spent six years in Drapchi Prison. She, and other female political prisoners, suffered a variety of torture methods whilst in prison and, in some cases, this has resulted in death. Rinzin Choenyi was expelled from her nunnery in 1988 because of her participation in a demonstration in Lhasa along with 11 nuns and two monks. She and one of the monks had managed to escape while 11 of the demonstrators were arrested. On 22 Sept. 1989, Choenyi once again participated in a demonstration, this time …

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Hunger strike in Drapchi Prison

According to new arrivals from Tibet, on 19 April 1996 female political prisoners in Drapchi Prison went on a hunger strike as a protest against a prison order forbidding the families of the prisoners from bringing them food. The prisoners also protested against the poor prison diet. 81 of the 145 female political prisoners in Drapchi participated in this hunger strike. The remaining 64 female political prisoners are reportedly segregated from the rest of the prisoners and therefore could not participate in the hunger strike.

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Cases of torture in Drapchi prison

Phuntsok Yangkyi, a 20-year-old nun of Michungri Nunnery, died on 4 June 1994. Choenyi reports that, while in hospital, Phuntsok Yangkyi was injected twice in her back and a Chinese doctor extracted a body fluid (Tibetan: Geychu). Chinese believe that this fluid is good for increasing vitality. Phuntsok Yangkyi went into a coma after the doctor extracted this fluid from her back. Her nails, tongue and lips turned bluish black. She died six days after being taken to the hospital. Her parents were not given her body.   Gyaltsen Kalsang, a 24 year-old nun from Garu Nunnery, died on 20 …

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