Torture in Tibet


Palden GyatsoPalden Gyatso was imprisoned and tortured over 33 years

Torture is an everyday reality in Tibet.

Torture is used by China as a weapon against dissent, creating a climate of fear.

Below you can hear four survivor testimonies, read by British actors Juliet Stevenson, Dominic West, Alan Rickman and David Threlfall. In most cases identities have been protected.

What can I do?

  1. Share the survivor videos; scrutiny from the international community can make a real difference to reduce China's use of torture.
  2. Buy the Stop Torture campaign poster (pictured, right) and car sticker.
  3. Email your foreign minister; you can edit the template letter to draw specific attention to use of torture.
  4. Sign up to email updates using the box on the left of this page; we'll send you regular news from Tibet as well as campaigns you can take action on.

Hear testimonies from Tsering, Lhamo Kyab, Phuntsog and Pema

You can also read written testimonies from Tsering, Lhamo Kyab, Phuntsog and Pema here.

What do we do?

We hold China accountable for its actions by working with our research partner Tibet Watch to get information out of Tibet. We distribute the information to a global audience via international media, to international bodies like the United Nations' Committee Against Torture and to key decision makers such as governments. Testimonies are rare with ex-political prisoners closely monitored, their families often under threat if they speak out and escape into exile overseas increasingly difficult.

Tibetans risk everything to share the truth and we show China that the world is watching. Here are just a few examples:

  • 64-year-old father of eight Lobsang Yeshi died in prison in July 2015. He had been arrested and tortured the previous year for involvement in an anti-mining protest.
  • 33-year-old Tenzin Choedak died in December 2014 after 6 years of torture. He became emaciated, incontinent and unable to recognise family members.
  • Golog Jigme was arrested in March 2008 and endured more than six months of mental and physical torture. As well as beatings, he was tied up and hung above the ground for up to 10 hours at a time.
  • Following China's security forces shooting on a protest in August 2014, four Tibetans died of their injuries after being shot and denied medical treatment in prison.
  • Goshul Lobsang died on 19 March 2014 after being released from prison in poor health. The torture included being left outside naked in Tibet’s bitter winter.
  • Following a prayer gathering in August 2013 at least 20 people were arrested. This included 72-year-old Yama Tsering, who sustained an arm injury and four broken ribs during the day. He was also tortured with an electric prod during detention.
  • In July 2013, Tenzin Thinley, 22, was left unable to speak or eat properly after being tortured.
  • Jigme Gyatso almost died from torture after a month in jail in 2008. In September 2014 he was sentenced to five years for “inciting splitism”.