DHARAMSHALA, May 14: In a reported case of custodial death of a Tibetan political prisoner, Chinese police beat a monk to death for possessing recordings of speeches by Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and for his stance on Tibet’s independence.
Exile Tibetan media sources have identified the deceased monk as Kaldo, formerly a monk at the Chamdo Monastery, Tibet.
Kaldo was detained from his home in Dzogang on April 21 by Chinese police for possessing speeches of the Dalai Lama. He was taken to the local police station where he was kept and severely beaten until he died on April 28.
Reports suggest that the Dalai Lama’s speeches that Kaldo had kept were about the Shugden diety, the propitiation of which has been discouraged by the exile Tibetan spiritual leader.
According to reports, when Chinese police told Kaldo to sign a letter saying he worships Shugden diety, he instead wrote ‘Tibet is independent’ several times on the paper. Kaldo was severely beaten and tortured until he passed away in custody.
This is not the first instance of custodial death in Dzogang. In January 2009, a Tibetan youth, Pema Tsepak, succumbed to his injuries sustained from beatings by Chinese authorities.
Pema Tsepak, 24 was arrested along with Thinley Ngodrub, 24, and his brother Thargyal, 23, from Punda town in Tsawa Dzogang, for carrying a white banner reading ‘Independence for Tibet,’ throwing paper fliers in the air, and shouting slogans.
Chinese police brutality in Dzogang was reported earlier this year in February as well when authorities arrested six Tibetans and brutally beat them, leaving two with broken bones for carrying out an anti-China protest.
Several Tibetans had carried out a protest against China’s rule in front of the local Chinese government office in Meye town on the eve of the Tibetan new year, Losar on February 10. The protesters raised slogans for religious freedom in Tibet and also pasted posters calling for Tibet’s independence.