Elderly Tibetan Severely Beaten for Questioning Chinese 'Political Education'

driru-map2-305 A map of Driru county in Nagchu (Naqu) prefecture in Tibet.

Updated at 10:00 a.m. EST on 2013-07-12

An elderly Tibetan who spoke out against a government campaign of “political education” in local villages in Tibet has been detained and severely beaten by Chinese authorities, exile sources said Wednesday.

Dayang, 68, a resident of Nagchu (in Chinese, Naqu) prefecture’s Driru (Biru) county in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), was “beaten so badly that he was left in critical condition in a local hospital,” Ngawang Tharpa, a Tibetan living in India, told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

Dayang had protested when a political propaganda team and dance troupe arrived in Driru to carry out political education programs in the villages on Sept. 3, he said.

He slammed the Chinese actions "by holding a white scarf in his hand and calling out that Tibet is independent and China should leave Tibet,” Tharpa said.

"He also called out and prayed for the long life of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama.”

Police first pulled a black hood over Dayang’s head before attacking him, Tharpa said.

“When some Tibetans saw him in the hospital on Sept. 9, they were doubtful of his survival,” he said.

As a part of a ruling Chinese Communist Party program to monitor the political views of Tibetans living in rural areas, TAR authorities have assigned over a thousand government workers to the villages of Dathang Yultso and Tsachu Yultso in Driru, and to Tarchen Yultso in nearby Nagchu county, Tharpa said.

“Local Tibetans have been subjected to intense restrictions,” he said.

Suicide attempt

Meanwhile, harassment by authorities in Nagchu following a clash in August at a local monastery has led a Tibetan woman living in the area to attempt suicide, sources said.

Drolma Yangkyi, a mother of two children, tried to take her own life by deliberately crashing her motorcycle in frustration over “Chinese deceptions and harassments” in the area of Rongpo monastery, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA this week, citing sources in the region.

“She was seriously injured and was taken under police custody to the local hospital for treatment,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Her present condition is unknown, and her relatives have not been allowed to see her,” he added.

On Aug. 24, Chinese security forces arrived at Rongpo following a clash between the monastery’s monks and members of a working group assigned to conduct political education courses in the area.

Following the monastery’s closure and the detention by police of several Tibetans, including her husband, Yangkyi became frustrated and warned police that she would kill herself if the detainees were not freed and the Chinese continued their “harassment” of the monastery and villages nearby, he said.

“When her demands were not considered, she intentionally tried to kill herself,” he said.

Reported by Lobe Socktsang, Yangdon Demo, Rigdhen Dolma, Kunsang Tenzin, and Pema Ngodup for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect age for Dayang.


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