By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan nuns wearing military uniforms in Chinese detention center. file photo- ICT
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 21: Tibetan nuns who are detained by Chinese authorities in occupied Tibet are subjected to psychological and sexual abuse in Chinese detention centers, a Tibetan researcher from the Central Tibetan Administration’s think-tank, Tibet Policy Institute in her article said.
Reports of mass eviction and demolition of houses in Yachen Gar located in Pelyul County in Sichuan surfaced since the beginning of the year. In July, it was reported that about 3,500 monks and nuns were further expelled by Chinese authorities to curtail the growing influence of the centre that also hosts many Chinese practitioners.
The nuns were held for political re-education classes in Jomda (in Chinese, Jiangda) county in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Chamdo prefecture. According to various sources within the exile Tibetan media and rights groups, nuns have broken down from stress at the re-education camp where they have to perform Chinese patriotic songs and dance in the day and watch Chinese propaganda films showing Chinese victories in battle in war with Japan in the evening. In addition, it was also reported that the nuns had also been forced to replace robes with military uniforms.
TPI researcher Tashi Wangmo whose article was published in the prominent magazine Bitter Winter,
that monitors and report on human rights and religious liberty issues in China, on Tuesday said that nuns are subjected to “gender-based violence” and “sexual abuses”. “There have been many cases of Tibetan Buddhist nuns being sexually assaulted, as told by the same monk (to TCHRD). Chinese party cadres were accused of “groping nuns’ bodies” and “lying in the nuns’ bedroom pressing unconscious nuns underneath,”” the article stated.
While the recent revelations of sexual abuse provide a jarring account of the treatment of the nuns in the Chinese detention centers, sexual abuses in general including groping, rape and even prodding of electric batons in the private areas of nuns have been reported over the years.
“The sexual abuse of the Tibetan Buddhist nuns by the CCP officers can be seen as the CCP’s (atheistic) attempt to subvert Buddhism by going against the set principles of its philosophy, and to impose Chinese hegemony in all spheres of Tibetan life. The female nuns’ bodies have thus become a tool to advance the CCP’s political ambitions,” the Tibetan researcher wrote.