By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 21: One Tibetan man among a group of five has reportedly been killed by Chinese authorities in Serthar County in the Eastern Tibet, in connection to organizing religious activities, Dharamshala-based rights group revealed on Monday. Tibet Watch said that one of the detainees has been killed during detention due to excessive beating during a torture session.
Chinese authorities arrested Chugdar, Gelo, Tsedo, Bhamo and Kori from Khakor Township in Kardze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture on August 24. The family of Chugdar, 52, was informed by the police that he had died in detention two days after the arrest. The source, who chose to remain anonymous, told Tibet Watch that Chugdar died after undergoing excessive beating and torture during detention and said that he did not have any pre-existing illnesses which could have caused an immediate death.
The report also stated that the families of the arrested have been denied access to meet with them and attempts to provide food for the detained have also been refused. The Chinese police told Chugdar’s family that his dead body would not be returned to them unless they signed an official letter stating that his death was “not caused by police beating”. The authorities told the father of the deceased that the death occurred “all of a sudden”.
The security officials have also offered to pay a one-off 1,00,000 Yuan ($14,247) and an additional 10,000 Yuan per family every consecutive year, as an attempt to absolve their responsibility for the crime. The deceased man was the sole provider for his wife, children and parents.
The other four detainees have been transferred to a detention centre in Kardze County on August 31 where they are currently being held. The group was appointed by local villagers to organize religious rituals, incense burning and prayer offerings, according to the report.
Custodial death, observers say, is the most apparent indication of China’s shoddy justice system and its non-existent legal recourse for Tibetans in Tibet.