Many among a group of 40 to 50 Tibetans held after protesting Chinese rule in Tibetan-populated areas were found to have been tortured in detention, sources said.
They suffered bruises and cuts on their bodies, signs of beatings and other abuse received at the hands of Chinese authorities, the sources said following their release on Thursday.
The group was detained in Sichuan province’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
“From this group, 17 Tibetans were released on the afternoon of Aug. 11 by the Kardze Intermediate Court,” said Lobsang Gonpo, a Tibetan monk living in India and citing contacts in the region.
“Most carried bruises and cuts on their bodies from severe beatings and torture … No fines had been imposed on them, but their health conditions are bad,” he said.
“Since Chinese authorities had banned large public receptions, they were greeted primarily by their family members,” Lobsang Gonpo said, adding that the former detainees were ordered to report to county police authorities two days after their release.
Kardze has been the scene of repeated Tibetan protests—both by individuals and by small groups—in recent months despite persistent arrests and beatings by Chinese authorities.
Huge security presence
“There is now a huge presence of Chinese security forces in Kardze town. They are keeping close watch on the local Tibetans,” Lobsang Gonpo said.
Three days earlier, on Aug. 8, Chinese authorities released a Tibetan detained for passing information on local conditions to contacts outside the region, a Tibetan living in Kardze said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“His name is Pema Gonpo, from Gyarang Da village. He is about 37, and was a businessman working in Sertha. He was detained on July 6 on suspicion of having passed information about Kardze to India,” the man said.
“He was severely tortured with harsh interrogation, beatings, and being hung from the ceiling. He was also alternately placed in cold and heated rooms while being questioned,” he said.
“As a result, his health began to fail,” the man said.
Pema Gonpo was treated at the Sertha and Dartsedo (in Chinese, Kanding) hospitals, the source said, but his condition continued to decline, and his family was finally called to take care of him.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities took into custody four Tibetan monks who had attempted to return to their monastery after evading police for almost three years, a Tibetan living in Gansu province’s Kanlho (in Chinese, Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture said.
“In 2008, several monks of Gyalmo monastery in Kanlho prefecture were involved in the protests against China,” the source said. “During the protests, 20 monks from that monastery were detained.”
“Recently, when two of the monks, Tendzin Gyatso and Jigme Samten, returned secretly to the monastery, Chinese police were waiting for them,” he said.
“They were detained on Aug. 1 at around 3:00 p.m.”
Two other monks, Kaljam and Yonten, were taken into custody at about the same time, but were later released, the source said.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.