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Kardze nun protestor died under mysterious circumstances in Chengdu Hospital

7 December 2009

A Tibetan nun Yangkyi Dolma, from Kardze who was earlier arrested on 24 March this year had died in the early morning of 6th December at Chengdu hospital, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)

On 24 August, exactly six months after her arrest the Kardze County Security forces handed over Yangkyi Dolma (33-year-old) to Kardze Intermediate People’s Court, however, there is no information on whether she was formally tried by the court or not. According to the source, the other nun Sonam Yangchen, arrested along with Yangkyi was also known to have been handed over to the same Court but there is no information on her status, physical and mental wellbeing.

According to the source, the dead body of Yangkyi Dolma has not yet been handed over to her family members and there is no information on whether a post mortem was carried out to ascertain the cause of her death or not. The source told TCHRD that on 3rd December, Kardze County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials informed the family members about the dire health condition of Yangkyi Dolma at Chengdu Government hospital. The family members on reaching Dartsedo, which is a night long journey to Chengdu-the provincial capital, came to know about her death.

Two nuns, Yangkyi Dolma and Sonam Yangchen of Lamdrag (earlier reported as Dragkar) Nunnery in Kardze County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (TAP), Sichuan Province, staged a peaceful protest at the Kardze County main market square on 24 March 2009. The protest was staged at around 3 pm (Beijing Standard time) shouting slogans calling for the “swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet,” “human rights for Tibetans in Tibet,” and “religious freedom in Tibet.” Both nuns were severely beaten by the security forces at the site of the demonstration.

According to sources, Yangkyi Dolma distributed handful of handwritten pamphlets during the short protest. Around 50 Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP) and PSB officials immediately detained both the Tibetan nuns from the site of protest and beaten indiscriminately with rods and electric batons before being thrown into and driven away in a security vehicle. Following the incident, at around 7 pm in the evening, a group of security forces stormed into Yangkyi’s family home, ransacked the portrait of the Dalai Lama and rebuked the family members for being the supporter of separatist forces. Early next morning (on 25 March), two Chinese security forces arrived at Yangkyi’s home and told her brother Tsangyang Gyatso to show himself at the Kardze County government headquarters.

Yangkyi Dolma was born to Hormeytsang Gedun Dargay (father) and Pema Khando(mother) in Roltsa Township, Kardze County, Kardze “TAP”, Sichuan Province.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is gravely concerned about the circumstances surrounding the death of Yangkyi Dolma in hospital. TCHRD recalls that every human being has the inherent right to life. These rights shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life as stipulated in the article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and according to the article 7 of the same covenant states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

TCHRD calls on the competent authorities to carry out full, prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding her untimely death and to bring perpetrators to justice as provide by law. The Centre expresses its profound sadness over the untimely death of Yangkyi Dolma and sends solemn condolences to the bereaved family members.

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