Five killed or tortured to death, abbot held


(, Dec 23) — Five more Tibetans were confirmed to have died as a result of being beaten and tortured or denied medical attention thereafter either during or in the aftermath of the Chinese crackdown on the Tibetan uprising in Mar 2008, reported the exile Tibetan government’s online information service Dec 22. Also, Abbot Jampa Gyaltsen of Woeser monastery in Markham County of Chamdo Prefecture in Tibet was arrested by police from his monastery on Nov 28, it said.

Sonam Phuntsok, who earned his living by begging — with his wife – over the last 20 years near the entrance to the Ramoche Temple in Lhasa, died of head injuries sustained from being beaten and tortured with electric baton by prison guards on Mar 18. The report said the prison guards’ action came after Sonam and other prisoner had shouted slogans calling for Tibet’s independence and the Dalai Lama’s return. Several other prisoners are also suspected to have died similarly.

Sonam, who originally hailed from Mepa Chagso Tengpa in Markham County of Chamdo Prefecture, was arrested on Mar 14. When the police and paramilitary police severely beat him during arrest, his wife, who was blind, shouted for mercy, only to have herself beaten to death. The couple is survived by two sons, who are aged nine and seven, and have no one to look after them.

Jampa Lhamo, 45, from Khyungpo Tengchen county in Chamdo Prefecture but living permanently in the Ramoche area of Lhasa died at home on Nov 28, a victim of severe torture after she was arrested on Mar 29.

Tenzin Norbu, from Meldro Gongkar county of Lhasa City, was arrested for involvement in protests in Lhasa and Phenpo. He was severely tortured and the Phenpo Lhundrup county authorities delivered to his family only his dead body. He is said to be survived by his wife and three children, aged 1 to 7.

Also, Ngawang Tsering, born in Mepa town of Markham County but living in Lhasa, died in hospital sometime after Mar 13, a victim of a standing order to deny blood donations to Tibetans in the aftermath of the Mar 14 protests in the city.

The arrest of Abbot Jampa Gyaltsen may be related to the recent conviction of several young monks from his monastery for their alleged involvement in several deliberately harmless bomb explosions.


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