According to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a Tibetan political prisoner serving a 15-year prison sentence died yesterday afternoon on 5 December. He was less than six years into his prison term in Chushur Prison near Lhasa city. His death confirms criticisms from human rights groups that torture and inhumane treatment is common in Chinese prisons in Tibet.
Tenzin Choedak, also known as Tenchoe, died just two days after he was released to his family by prison authorities. He died at Mentsekhang, the traditional Tibetan medical institute in Lhasa city, hours after his family admitted him there. Tenzin Choedak had previously worked for a European NGO affiliated to the Red Cross.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) presents an analysis of a secret Chinese document on Tibetans killed by Chinese security forces during the March 2008 protests in Lhasa. The document, obtained recently by TCHRD, was written in Chinese by the Lhasa Public Security Bureau (PSB) based on the autopsy reports prepared on 21 March 2008 by the medical department of Lhasa PSB.
TCHRD has obtained exclusive information that provides irrefutable evidence that Chinese security forces used disproportionate force including live ammunition and machine guns to kill Tibetans during the March 2008 protests in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. The document obtained by TCHRD contains the list of the names of Tibetans killed by Chinese security forces and whose dead bodies were kept at Lhasa’s Xishan mortuary. The official document also consists of autopsy reports of four Tibetans. Li Wan Zhan (李文展) and Wang Zhi Xue (王志学), both heads of criminal and medical examination department of the Lhasa Public Security Bureau performed the autopsy.
By Jayang Jinpa*
The noble soul Sangye Gyatso was born in 1969 in a nomadic village called Lha De Sangkhog in Amdo, Eastern Tibet. His father’s name was Gobha and mother’s Soelo. At the age of 16, he became monk and joined Thoesamling dratsang (college), at the famous Labrang Tashikyil Monastery. He was regarded as one of the brightest students in his class when it came to learning Buddhist texts. In 1991, when he was 23, he left for India to do further studies. He joined Gomang dratsang at Drepung Monastery, South India. The weather of the sub-continent was not suitable to his health. After studying for nearly three years at Drepung, he returned to his homeland. His passion for Buddhist studies did not die down however; once again he joined the Labrang Tashikyil Monastery.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses its serious concern for the fates of two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, who were sentenced to death by the Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on 8 April 2009.
There is no information on whether the duos have appeal to the higher people?s court for review after the death sentence verdict by the Lhasa Intermediate people’s court. If no appeal is presented, then the sentence is automatically review by the Tibet Autonomous Region Higher People’s Court and submitted to the Supreme People’s Court for approval. As the intermediate period of review draws near, TCHRD is seriously concern about the prospects of their imminent execution as it was earlier reported that the two “have to be executed in order to assuage the people’s anger” as quoted saying by the court spokesman in the state media.
Today, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) commemorates the eleventh anniversary of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to recognize the pain and suffering that victims and survivors of torture throughout the world has gone through.
In 1984, the General Assembly adopted the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which entered into force on 26 June 1987. It was an important step in the much-needed process of globalising human rights and acknowledging that torture, and all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, are absolutely and universally illegal and should not be condoned. There can be zero tolerance for torture. In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated 26 June each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Convention obliges States to make torture a crime and to prosecute and punish those guilty of it. It notes explicitly that neither higher orders nor exceptional circumstances can justify torture.
The Chinese security forces severely beat and then arrested a nun of SamtenLing Nunnery in Drango County, Kardze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’) Sichuan Province, following her act of defiance by staging a peaceful solo protest in Drango County, by raising pro-Tibet slogans and distributing pamphlets calling for ‘the swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “freedom in Tibet”, according to confirmed information received from reliable sources by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
On 8 June 2008, at around 9:00 AM (Beijing Standard Time), Tsering Tsomo, 27 years old nun of SamtenLing Nunnery a.k.a Watak Nunnery, originally from Chakra Village, Drango County (Ch: Luhuo Xian) Kardze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’) staged a peaceful solo protest in Drango County by raising Pro-Tibet slogans and distributing pamphlets calling for “swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “freedom in Tibet” among the people. After a short stint of her solo protest, Tsering Tsomo was known to have been surrounded by the security forces and was severely beaten and tortured by pounding her with iron rods, kicked and punched her indiscriminately. The county PSB officials later took her away to the county Detention Centre for further questioning.
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has been informed by reliable sources that the Chinese authorities are stepping up arbitrary arrest drive inside Tibet with renewed vigour and fervour. The latest information emanating from Tibet indicates over 2,300 Tibetans from various parts of Tibet have so far been arrested by the Chinese authorities currently detained in detention centres located in Townships, Counties and Prefectures in various administrative regions of Tibet.
According to TCHRD documentation since 10 March 2008, the Centre has documented a list of 301 Tibetans whose identities were confirmed as of today.