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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?"

"Praying" - A Blogpost by Dolkar Tso, Wife of Karma Samdrup

June 25, 2010

High Peaks Pure Earth
June 23, 2010

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost
by Dolkar Tso, wife of businessman and
environmentalist Karma Samdrup, which was written
on June 22, 2010 and posted on her blog on June
23, 2010. The blogpost is an account of the first
day of the trial of Karma Samdrup which took
place in Yanqi county, Xinjiang, but was online
merely a few hours before being deleted.

The screenshot below shows what Dolkar Tso's
blogpost looked like and was posted on Woeser's
blog earlier today along with a full re-posting of the blogpost.
<http://woeser.middle-way.net/2010/06/blog-post_23.html>

Woeser had previously also posted this photo of
Dolkar Tso and her husband Karma Samdrup on her blog:

The curious case of Karma Samdrup and his
brothers, the environmentalists Rinchen Samdrup
and Chime Namgyal - all currently under
detention, has attracted attention from media,
international human rights NGOs and Tibet Support
Groups. Whilst Karma Samdrup's trial is ongoing,
Rinchen Samdrup's has been postponed indefinitely
and Chime Namgyal's trial date is unknown.

Dolkar Tso's blogpost gives us an insight into
the emotional feelings during difficult times and
also documents Chinese legal proceedings from the
point of view of a lay person. The details of the
prison conditions come from Karma Samdrup
himself, a rare first-person account. The lawyer
that Dolkar Tso refers to in her blogpost is
Karma Samdrup's lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, a respected
civil rights lawyer in China who himself is
updating events surrounding the case on his blog.

*********
"Praying"
By Dolkar Tso
An Account of June 22, 2010??

The hearing was adjourned, it was almost 11
o’clock at night. My husband turned his head,
peeked into the court. They took him away in the
other direction and shut the door, we were once more separated.

In the morning I had felt so distressed and hurt
that I only felt extreme grief, from the
afternoon till the evening I had felt anger from
all that justice and injustice. Now, after having
received numerous missed calls and many text
messages asking for news, I just don’t know anymore what I feel.

Early in the morning, around 9:30 am, I saw a
police vehicle, I guessed that he might be inside
and when the people from inside the car were led
out I almost missed him. Or rather, I just didn’t
recognise him. How could his tall and upright
body become thin and small? The body that passed
me looked like one of a slim and fragile college student. ?

Before we entered the court, I was already in
tears. Relatives and friends didn’t speak a word,
well, what was there to say?! Only when he stood
there with his back to us, and started speaking,
everyone’s sadness just poured out. We all rather
closed our eyes, we didn’t want to look at this
cold shadow, we just wanted to listen to this so
very familiar voice – only this was really him,
only this really managed to turn that poor
fragile shadow into the person we remembered. ?

I never thought his cheekbones could be this
high, his chin so pointy, his arms so skinny,
there’s nothing left of his pot-belly. And he
even tells us that over the past 20 days he had
already recovered quite a bit, he had started
eating regularly and does not have to suffer any maltreatment anymore.

Then he paused for a while, "Today my friends and
relatives are here, and there is probably a lot I
shouldn’t say." The account we heard afterwards
exceeded our worst imaginations, we heard about
hundreds of different cruel torture methods,
maltreatment around the clock, hitherto unheard
of torture instruments and drugs, hard and soft
tactics, and even of fellow prisoners being
grouped together to extract a confession. If he
did not reveal certain details he would be
mentally tormented. If he wanted to eat or go to
the toilet he had to write an "IOU", an "IOU"
which has already amounted to 660,000 RMB. The
"purchased" food would first be crushed by people
using their feet, there would be beatings for no
reason, this was common and occurred too many
times to count. He said in a sad voice that he
had already prepared for death and he had written
a letter to tell his relatives what to do. Two
elderly interpreters had red eyes and started crying bitterly.

The lawyer also almost started crying. During the
afternoon trial, the submission of evidence and
translations was an endless process, endless but
extraordinary. All of the evidence that was
“temporarily put aside”, to my understanding,
contained many loopholes and contradictions. Even
the lawyers seemed to think that much was illegal
in the procedures and they raised their doubts.
It was just a pity that the panel discarded them
as “unrelated to the respective issue” or said
that “this has already been clarified”. Sitting
in court were two lawyers and a defendant - three
amazing people. Justice gives people an
incomparable power, for a moment I didn’t think
of all the disasters, I was entirely absorbed by
this optimistic wisdom, surrounded by hearts of
such warmth, I thought that my husband would also
feel it. I clearly saw him turning his head and
when he saw us his eyes were smiling. Or maybe we
are fortunate people, fewer and fewer people receive such noble blessings. ??

I really don’t know after this endless but
extraordinary afternoon what will follow
tomorrow. But we are all sure that our Karma
Samdrup is no criminal, he is innocent, an
unyielding and magnanimous person who can
withstand any storm. We all know that he is not a
criminal! As long as the court acts justly and
fairly, he will certainly come back to us very
soon. He will come back home and embrace his two
daughters and also embrace freedom – this is the
life, which he should live. ??Please listen to
the prayer, which I, this rushed and weary,
burdened but hopeful woman am saying. An effect
presupposes a cause. May Buddha protect us.
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