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China Tortures and Arrests Two Nuns of Dargay Hardu Nunnery for Peaceful Protest

May 28, 2008

For immediate Release
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
May 26, 2008

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has learned from reliable sources inside Tibet that Chinese security forces have arrested two nuns from Dargay Hardu Nunnery on 23 May 2008 for their peaceful protest at Kardze government headquarters.

In recent times, Kardze County in particular has been very restive with numerous cases of peaceful protests led by the nuns from various nunneries and their subsequent arrests and detentions are surfacing from the region. On 23 May 2008, two nuns of Dargay Hardu Nunnery; Ven. Jampa Lhamo, a 30-years-old from Sadul Village and, Ven. Rinzin Wangdon, a 23-years-old from Lharinyan Village, Kardze County, Kardze, "Tibet Autonomous Prefecture" ("TAP") Sichuan Province, staged a peaceful protest at the Kardze County Government headquarters and chanted slogans calling for the "Swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet", "Long Live the Dalai Lama", "Freedom for Tibet" and "Immediate release of all political prisoners".

Long before the two nuns could further carry on their peaceful protest in front of the county government headquarters, a group of Kardze County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials detained the two nuns. According to sources, the two nuns were severely beaten and manhandled by the PSB officials at the site of the demonstration before being taken off to Kardze County PSB Detention Centre for further questioning. There is no information on the current condition of two arrestees. The Centre will continue to monitor the situation and will update on the issue as more information surface from the area.

Earlier more similar peaceful protests were reported from Kardze region particularly by nuns of various nunneries such as Tehor Nyagay Nunnery, Drakar Nunnery, Ganden Choeling Nunnery, Gaysey and Pangri-na Nunnery.

The Centre expresses its grave concern over the fate of nuns who were arrested and urges the international community to take up their case to press the Chinese government to obtain their immediate release and also of all  individuals imprisoned and detained for exercising rights guaranteed under Chinese and international human rights law. The Centre also calls upon the Chinese government to respect the fundamental rights of the arrested nuns and in no case they should be subjected to torture and ill-treatment as torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners and detainees are regular feature in the Chinese administered prisons and detention centers in Tibet.

Tashi Choephel Jamatsang (Mr.), Researcher
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
Top Floor Narthang Building
Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala
H.P. INDIA 176215
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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