Authorities in western China’s Sichuan province have released a Tibetan nun in ‘poor health’ following torture during her one-year jail sentence for staging a protest against Chinese rule, according to Tibetan sources.
Shedrub Lhamo, a 40-year-old nun of the Ganden Choeling nunnery in Sichuan’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, was released on Saturday, a Tibetan living in Europe told RFA’s Tibetan Service at the weekend, citing sources in the region.
She was beaten and tortured while in custody, though she bore no outer signs of harm on her release, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“I have no detailed information on [possible] internal injuries, though,” he said, adding, “Her health is reported to be poor, and she looked weak.”
“Her relatives are talking about taking her to a hospital for a checkup and treatment,” he said.
Shedrub Lhamo was detained on Aug. 25 last year when she staged a solitary protest in Kardze town, the man said.
“She called for the return of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama and for freedom for Tibet. She also threw leaflets in the air, though witnesses could not see what was written on them,” he said.
Tourist also held
India-based monk Pema Tsewang, citing contacts in the region, told RFA that Shedrub Lhamo had also shouted slogans calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama.
He said that a foreign tourist who was present took a photo of one of the leaflets she had thrown and was also immediately detained.
“The police seized his camera and took him away in a vehicle. It is not clear whether or not he was later released.”
Shedrub Lhamo had served her prison term in a jail near Sichuan’s provincial capital Chengdu.
Relatives, friends, and community members lined the road to welcome her with ceremonial scarves on her return to her home in Kardze’s Shungang village, RFA’s source said.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.
A total of 121 Tibetans in China have also set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom, with another six setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal.
Reported by Sonam Wangdu for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.