12/08/2020

Painful death for Tibetan man injured in police violence

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A Tibetan man died a slow and agonising death, almost eight months after he was injured in a violent police crackdown on a protest staged by both lay and local Tibetans in March last year.

According to information received by TCHRD, Gyerig Thar, 35, succumbed to his injuries on 17 November 2012 at a hospital in Siling (Ch: Xining), capital of Qinghai Province. After sustaining serious injuries on his head during the police clampdown on the protest, Geyrig Thar spent the next eight months in the hospital unable to utter a single word. Sources said an explosive burst on his head causing serious injuries to his head. He was referred to some other bigger hospitals where he had to undergo three surgeries on his brain, but hopes for his survival remained weak among his family members even as he was receiving treatment. Sources say he was too weak to consume or retain his food or medicine in his body.   

Gyerig Thar participated in a peaceful protest march of over a thousand Tibetans on 18 March 2012 in Ba Dzong or Gepasumdo (Ch: Tongde) County in Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. The protest was triggered by the arbitrary arrest of 50 monks from Shingtri Monastery (also called Ba Shangtre) in Ba Dzong.

On 15 March 2012, monks from Shingtri Monastery carried out a peaceful protest, calling for the “return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” “freedom” and “equal respect for the Tibetan language.” The monks carried banned Tibetan flags and walked towards the local government office even as more local Tibetans joined the protest. At the end of the protest, Chinese police arrested over 50 monks.  (View a short video of the protest here)

Gyerig Thar joined the protest three days later to call on the Chinese authorities to release the detained monks. Protesters gathered in front of local government office and called on the officers to release the monks. Tibetans waited outside the office until afternoon after officers assured them of early release for the monks. When the monks were not released in the afternoon, Tibetans began to protest again. Just then, a group of security forces including armed police rushed in to stop the protest. Sources said local police used excessive force including tear gas shells and explosives to quell the protest. Other sources last year also reported that police used grenades to control the unarmed Tibetan protesters. Sources said many Tibetans were injured in the melee particularly a Tibetan boy of 12 who died of injuries. The injured were later hospitalised under strict surveillance.

Gyerig Thar was born in Gon-gongma Tagkor Village in Ba Dzong in Tsolho Prefecture. He is survived by his 10 family members including his father, Gonpo, his mother, Tsering Tso, and sons Chagthar Gyal, 13, and Taglha Tsering, 10.

Undated photograph of Gyerig Thar in his Tibetan dress
Undated photograph of Gyerig Thar in his Tibetan dress

 

Gyerig Thar below a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
A dying Gyerig Thar below a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

 

Gyerig Thar in his hospital bed in Siling
Gyerig Thar in his hospital bed in Siling