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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan exiles ask China to "Stop Torture in Tibet"

June 29, 2009 Friday, June 26, 2009
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.
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