By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, June 26: Tibetans exiles observed “International Day Against Torture” to ask China to “stop”, what they claim, prevalent and excessive use of torture in the network of prisons and detention centres across the Chinese-occupied Tibet.
The Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, better known as Ex-political Prisoners’ Association, organized day-long events that included holding Buddhist prayers and photo exhibition in the morning, and candle light vigil later in the evening here today.
The association formed by former victims of Chinese torture for staging protests against Chinese rule in late 1980s, say torture remains endemic in the Chinese prisons and detention centres across Tibet. The group fears the situation has worsened drastically following the widespread protests against Chinese rule in Tibet last year.
Tibetan Government-in-Exile here say more than 200 Tibetans were killed and many more were arrested and seriously wounded after the unrest faced brutal Chinese military crackdown.
Portraits representing Tibetan political prisoners undergoing various forms of torture in Chinese detention centres and prisons, and framed photos of Tibetan victims from last year’s Chinese military crackdown were put on display at the exhibition themed- “50 years of Tragedy: Stop Torture in Tibet” at the courtyard of the main Tibetan temple here.
In a written statement on display at the exhibition, the political prisoners’ association detailed the untold suffering and miseries caused to Tibetan people, including deaths of more than 1.2 million Tibetans, since 1949 when Chinese Communist regime sent in military troops to occupy Tibet.
According to Dharamsala-based Tibetan centre for Human Rights (TCHRD), “electric shocks, pricking cigarettes on the face, beating, hand or thumb cuffs, feet manacles, aerial suspension, exposure to extreme temperature, long period of solitary confinement, deprivation of food, water and sleep, forced labour and forced exercise drills” are few of the commonly used techniques employed by the Chinese authorities to “defeat the nationalist spirit of the Tibetans and to break down an individual’s personality”.
It says a “subtle form of mental torture” is also being used on former political prisoners in Tibet. “Life after prison for these prisoners is made extremely difficult as they are denied re-admission into their monastery or nunnery, ostracized socially, are constantly harassed by officials and have no prospect of finding employment. Many Tibetan torture survivors suffer recurring nightmares and flashbacks,” TCHRD says.