By Tenzin Monlam
Kalsang Tsering/RFA Photo
DHARAMSHALA, January 13: A former Tibetan political prisoner had to be transferred from a hospital in Lhasa to Chengdu for medical treatment of an injury sustained from torture in prison on Tuesday.
Kalsang Tsering, a Tibetan political prisoner released last year after serving seven years in Chushul prison on the outskirts of Lhasa, was airlifted in a critical condition to a hospital in Sichuan, according to an RFA
The source however added that ‘there is very little hope for his recovery’. “Tsering's injury, allegedly suffered as a result of torture in detention, had failed to respond to treatment following his release, and his condition today remains critical,” the source said.
“Tibetans from all across the plateau rallied to his cause, though, raising about 200,000 yuan (USD 30,430) enabling him to fly to Chengdu.”
The image received by RFA shows Tsering lying facedown on his hospital bed due to a large open wound on his back, which he suffered during his detention.
The source said that following his release, Tsering and his family had to face tough living conditions in Lhasa without sufficient money for his medical treatment.
Tsering was arrested in 2008 for taking part in protests that spread from the Tibetan capital Lhasa to the rest of the plateau in the run up to Beijing Olympics. He was later sentenced to seven years in prison. Tibetans in exile and supporters allover the world carried out protests calling for ‘One world, one dream, Free Tibet’.
On April 5, 2008, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) stated that the Chinese authorities arrested over 2,300 Tibetans from various parts of Tibet. According to Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), more than 140 people were killed in the crackdown.
Leaked documents acquired by the TCHRD in 2014 exposed Chinese government’s use of machine guns to kill Tibetans during the March 2008 protests in Lhasa, contrary to Chinese government claims that they did not use lethal weapons.