Tibetan Man Dies After Years of Ill Health Following Torture in Prison

Tsering Bakdro, a monk at Ganden monastery, had served eight years in Lhasa's Drapchi Prison for protesting China's rule in Tibet.

Tibetan Man Dies After Years of Ill Health Following Torture in Prison

A former Tibetan political prisoner has died after suffering years of poor health following his release from a prison term served for challenging Chinese rule in Tibetan areas, Tibetan sources say.

Tsering Bakdro, 51, died on April 26 at his home in Maldro Gongkar (in Chinese, Mozhugongka) county in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Lhasa municipality, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“His untimely death is certainly related to the physical torture and suffering he endured while he was in prison,” RFA’s source said.

A former monk in Tibet’s Ganden monastery, Bakdro was arrested in 1992 after launching a protest on June 10 with several others in Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa in which they called for independence for Tibet and carried the banned Tibetan national flag, the source said.

“Local Public Security Bureau officers immediately took them into custody, beating them and dragging them away,” the source said, adding that the men were taken first to the Gutsa detention center in Lhasa.

After being sentenced by the Lhasa People’s Intermediate Court to an eight-year prison term, followed by a deprivation of political rights for a further two years, Bakdro was transferred in November 1992 to Lhasa’s notorious Drapchi Prison, the source said.

“During his time in prison, he experienced physical torture and psychological trauma like the other political prisoners held there, and he was finally released in June 2000 after serving his full term,” he said.

”He was not really free even after his release, though,” the source said. “Like other former political prisoners, he lived under constant surveillance by the Chinese authorities, and his movements, activities, and speech were restricted.”

Also speaking to RFA, a former Tibetan political prisoner confirmed accounts of the harsh conditions endured by Tibetans arrested for challenging Beijing’s rule.

“Living conditions in the Chinese prisons are extremely poor,” the source said, also speaking on condition his name not be used.

“Especially while inmates are being pressed to confess under questioning, interrogators use extreme violence against them that is beyond anyone’s imagining,” he said.

Reported by Lhuboom for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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State Security Police Raid House Church Meeting in Chinese Port City of Xiamen

The raid comes after the church resisted pressure from the authorities to join a state-approved association of Protestant churches.

State Security Police Raid House Church Meeting in Chinese Port City of Xiamen

Authorities in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen are holding nine people after hundreds of police raided a Protestant church gathering at the weekend, RFA has learned.

An estimated nine people were detained after state security police and officials from Xiamen's religious affairs bureau raided a meeting of the unofficial Xingguang Church on Sunday morning, local time.

Chaotic scenes ensued as dozens of law enforcers struggled to grab and take away church members, some of whom fought back hard not to be removed from the meeting, according to cell phone footage of the raid seen by RFA.

Pastor Yang Xibo told RFA that the members were meeting in a private residence at the time of the raid, and that police had burst in without a warrant or any form of ID or documentation.

"The state security police came banging at the door, then they kicked it down and dragged those in the way outside the doorway, dragging them to the ground," Yang said in an interview on Monday.

"One person's ribs were cracked, and they are now in a lot of pain, and a lot of the [female church members] have bruises on their arms and legs," he said. "We went to the hospital with them, so we could record the evidence."

Yang said the raid was likely due to the church's refusal to join the Three-Self Patriotic Association, a state-approved body in charge of Protestant Christians.

An eyewitness said the church members had no warning.

"They didn't say anything, nor show any documentation, but they just broke in," he said. "They pinned a man and a woman to the floor, pinning them down by chest and legs using their knees."

He said police then took personal details and ID numbers from everyone present.

"They told us that it is illegal for us not to resister [with the government], but we don't think that private residential gatherings are illegal," he said.

"This kind of gathering of mostly friends and relatives is just like any family gathering," he said.

A second church member from Xiamen who declined to be named said it should be illegal for the authorities to break into private residential property and detain people.

"We would like the whole of society to pay attention to this violent behavior," the church member said. "They are lawless and indiscriminate."

Repeated calls to the Xiamen municipal bureau of religious affairs and to the local government offices in Xinglin district rang unanswered during office hours on Monday.

The raid came amid a nationwide crackdown on religious worship by the administration of President Xi Jinping, which regards Christianity as a dangerous foreign import, with ruling Chinese Communist Party documents warning against the "infiltration of Western hostile forces" in the form of religion.

The ruling party embraces atheism, yet exercises tight controls over any form of religious practice among its citizens.

China is home to an estimated 68 million Protestants, of whom 23 million worship in state-affiliated churches, and some nine million Catholics, 5.7 million of whom are in state-sponsored organizations.

Reported by Gao Feng for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by Wong Lok-to for the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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