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China detains scores of nuns calling for the release of solo protester and critically injures three monks in Kardze Protests

June 12, 2008

For Immediate Release
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)
June 9, 2008

The Chinese security forces severely beaten and then arrested a nun
of SamtenLing Nunnery in Drango County, Kardze "Tibet Autonomous
Prefecture" ('TAP') Sichuan Province, following her act of defiance
by staging a peaceful solo protest in Drango County, by raising
pro-Tibet slogans and distributing pamphlets calling for 'the swift
return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet" and "freedom in Tibet", according
to confirmed information received from reliable sources by the
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 8 June 2008, at around 9:00 AM (Beijing Standard Time), Tsering
Tsomo, 27 years old nun of SamtenLing Nunnery a.k.a Watak Nunnery,
originally from Chakra Village, Drango County (Ch: Luhuo Xian) Kardze
"Tibet Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP') staged a peaceful solo protest
in Drango County by raising Pro-Tibet slogans and distributing
pamphlets calling for "swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet" and
"freedom in Tibet" among the people. After a short stint of her solo
protest, Tsering Tsomo was known to have been surrounded by the
security forces and was severely beaten and tortured by pounding her
with iron rods, kicked and punched her indiscriminately. The county
PSB officials later took her away to the county Detention Centre for
further questioning.

The news of Tsering Tsomo's arrest and torture reached her nunnery.
In gesture of solidarity and support calling for her release, at
around 5:00 PM, more than two hundred nuns of SamtenLing Nunnery
staged a peaceful demonstration and headed towards Drango County
headquarters. Before reaching their destination, the security forces
stopped the protesting nuns at a place known as Gogaythang from
further proceeding with their protest. The security forces used brute
force to stop protesters from moving forward. Besides indiscriminate
kick and punch, even electric prod and iron rod were used on the
peaceful demonstrators, severely injuring scores of them. Ten
protesters were seriously injured and were known to have been taken
to nearby hospital for treatment. Scores of protesters were detained
by the security forces and took away in waiting military trucks to
the County Detention Centre. According to source, the family members
and relatives of those injured and hospitalized were not allowed to
meet their love ones. There is no further information on the current
condition of those injured and detained by the Chinese security
forces. The Centre is highly concern about the safety of those
injured and detained. The Centre has been vigilant on the recent
series of protests, arrests, detentions, tortures and disappearance
of Tibetans and will continue to monitor the situation particularly
in Kardze "TAP" which has witnessed a series of peaceful protests and
will update as and when more information surfaces from the area.

Yet in another incident, on 6 June 2008, three monks belonging to
different monasteries in Drango County, Kardze "TAP" staged a
peaceful protest in front of the county government headquarters,
according to confirmed information received by the Centre. The three
monks unidentified as Tsewang Dakpa, 22 years old from Jangtha
Township, Drango County, Kardze "TAP", Thupten Gyatso(age unknown)
from Tawu County, Kardze "TAP" and Jangsem Nyima, 22 years old from
Dzatoe County, Jyekundo (Ch: Yushu/Jiegu) "TAP" Qinghai Province
staged a peaceful protest calling for the "quick return of the Dalai
Lama to Tibet" and "Freedom in Tibet". According to eyewitness
accounts from the site of the demonstration, three monks were
indiscriminately beaten with electric prod, kicked and punch by the
Chinese Security forces that all three require urgent medical
attention. Tsewang Dakpa in particular sustained multiple and severe
injury from the torture that eyewitness recounted slight chances of
his survival. They were known to have been critically injured and
taken to Drango County hospital for treatment that day.

However, according to the latest information received by the Centre
this morning, there has been rumor of Tsewang Dakpa's death spreading
in Drango County following indiscriminate beating suffered at the
site of demonstration. However, it cannot be confirmed at the moment.
Two other monks were known to have been in critical condition and
were shifted to another hospital. There has been no information on
their physical condition and current whereabouts following their
hospitalization.

TCHRD condemns in strongest terms the Chinese security forces' brutal
use of force on the peaceful Tibetan demonstrators. TCHRD also call
upon the PRC government to release all those Tibetans who have been
arrested and detained for exercising their fundamental human rights
enshrined in the UDHR, constitution and many other international
covenants and treaties that she is party to. The government of the
PRC should ensure that they are not subjected to further ill
treatment and torture which are common features in Chinese
administered detention centres and prisons in Tibet.

TCHRD is highly concerned about the safety of those detained and
critically injured by the security forces and seeks the support of
human rights groups and the international community in securing their
early release unconditionally. The Centre deems the case as an
outright clampdown on the freedom of opinion and expression in Tibet.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human rights which is a
prerequisite to the enjoyment of all human rights. Article 35 of the
Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) guarantees
"freedom of expression, of the press, of assembly, of association, of
procession and of demonstration." Article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights proclaims: "Everyone has the right to
freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to
hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".
The Centre calls upon the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr.
Ambeyi Ligabo, to intervene on their case and others who were earlier
arrested for their peaceful exercise of the fundamental human rights.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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