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Human Rights Update 1997

Monk suffers in six different prisons

The nightmare began for twenty year-old monk Yeshi Samien when work teams entered his monastery and ordered him to renounce everything he believed in. When Yeshi refused, threats were made. When he attempted to escape, Yeshi was imprisoned and tortured in six different prisons and detention centres, his suffering made public as a warning to others. He finally managed to flee to India in October 1997. Yeshi Samten is from Yathak monastery in Tongpa township, Zokhang county, under the Chamdo Region of the ìTibet Autonomous Regionî. In 1996, he says, there were 60 monks in his monastery. Since then, 32 …

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Airport Expansion in Lhoka

About four years ago, an airport was built in Kyishong sub-district in Lhoka County. Kyishong is one of the best known places in Tibet for excellent harvests and many Tibetans in this area had to give up their land for construction and thereby lost their means of livelihood. In mid-February 1997, just after Tibetan New Year, expansion of this airport began and many more Tibetans had to give up their land. The people were told that this expansion was necessary for the people who would be returning from Hong Kong. Fifteen trucks arrived, each carrying 70 workers. All of the …

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More monasteries targeted

Thupten Soepa is from Rame Kyishong town in Lhoka Gongkar county and was a monk at Rame monastery. Thupten reports that on 1 March, 1997, an eight-member work team arrived at the monastery. They started the re-education session and ordered that photographs of the Dalai Lama be taken down. “Initially, none of the monks were willing to meet their demands and refused to comply with their orders,” says Thupten. “Then the members made threats that our parents would also be made to suffer and many of us had no choice. In the space of a month our parents were called …

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