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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Jailed nuns reunite

March 6, 2008

North Devon Gazette & Advertiser, UK
05 March 2008

ARRANGED through a Tibetan living in North Devon, there will be a
reunion of Tibet's 'singing nuns' at the Plough Arts Centre,
Torrington, on March 18 in Singing Louder: Echoes of Drapchi Prison.

By the mid 1990s there were known to be more than 164 female prisoners
held in Drapchi Prison, Tibet. Most were nuns, some as young as 15,
imprisoned for their religious and political beliefs, and for taking
part in peaceful demonstrations calling for Tibetan freedom. They were
subjected to inhumane treatment including interrogation, torture,
solitary confinement, beatings, and years of malnutrition.

For many, singing songs was a vital source of comfort; a way of
expressing solidarity and support for each other - and an expression
of determination and defiance.

In June 1993, 14 nuns secretly recorded pro-independence songs on a
cassette recorder borrowed from the 'criminal' prisoners (as opposed
to 'political' prisoners who were not allowed such luxuries). The
nuns' songs told of their unwavering devotion to the Dalai Lama and of
their yearning for the freedom of Tibet.

One of the tapes was smuggled out of the prison and copies were later
distributed literally around the world.

The aim of this project is to reunite six of these former prisoners to
record a CD, embark on a concert tour and make a documentary film.
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