Nun mentally unstable after torture in detention

Nun Sonam Choedon
Nun Sonam Choedon

A Tibetan nun jailed in May 2008 had become “mentally unsound” after being reportedly tortured in prison and was handed over to her family in September 2008, according to reliable information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 14 May 2008, the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSP) and People’s Armed Police(PAP) arrested Sonam Choedon, 36, a nun of Puruna Nunnery in Lhoba Township, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) County, Kardze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture”, Sichuan Province.

Sources told TCHRD that Sonam Choedon suffered severe head injury after being hit on her head several times with rifle butt during her detention. Her head injury seems to have rendered her mentally unstable and she is said to be crying constantly at her home and requires 24 hours care.

Around 200 nuns of Puruna Nunnery and Yangteng Nunnery carried out protests against the Chinese Government in Kardze County in 2008 during the nationwide uprising that sparked off from the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Several nuns were arrested in the aftermath of the protests. Trulku Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, an influential Lama who heads the 2 nunneries, was also arrested on May 18, 2008 and sentenced to 8 years in prison in December 2009.

Sonam Lhatso was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Bhumo to 9 years, Sokha and Yangchen Khando to 3 years and Tashi Lhamo to 2 years, according to the TCHRD. All were nuns of Puruna nunnery.

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