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Jailed Tibetan monk tortured

October 20, 2008

The Straits Times (Singapore)
October 19, 2008

BEIJING - A TIBETAN monk who helped make a film about alleged Chinese
repression in his homeland has been freed after seven months in jail
but says he was tortured while in custody, the film-makers said.

Mr Jigme Gyatso, also known as Mr. Golog Jigme, was arrested in March
shortly after completion of the film 'Leaving Fear Behind.'

'The interrogators beat him continuously and hanged him by his feet
from the ceiling for hours and kept him tied for days on the
interrogation chair,' said a statement by the group Filming for
Tibet, which produced the film.

'During the interrogations he fainted several times due to the beatings.'

The monk, 39, was 'temporarily released' from prison on Wednesday and
is now back at his home monastery of Labrang in the northwest
province of Gansu.

Mr Jigme Gyatso was arrested along with film-maker Dhondup Wangchen,
whose whereabouts remain unknown, the group said.

'It is not clear, according to information from Tibet, if all charges
against Mr Jigme Gyatso have been dismissed. He was told by the
authorities that he will stay under observance and his probation will
last one year,' it said.

It said a large crowd of fellow monks and other Tibetans gave him an
emotional welcome at the monastery on his return.

The film features interviews with ordinary Tibetans about China, the
Olympics and the Dalai Lama.

Huge anti-Chinese protests engulfed the Tibetan plateau in March,
driven by anger over what is seen there as decades of systematic
political, cultural and religious oppression in the remote and
devoutly Buddhist Himalayan region.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says more than 200 Tibetans were
killed and about 1,000 hurt in a resulting Chinese crackdown.

Beijing insists that only one Tibetan was killed, and has in turn
accused the 'rioters' of killing 21 people.

China has ruled Tibet since 1951, a year after sending troops in to
'liberate' the region. -- AFP
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