It is often impossible to say where Tibetan political activists go when they are taken by the authorities. With an unaccountable government in Beijing, severe restrictions on Tibetans’ ability to travel and no semblance of a free press – China can do what it likes.
It can sometimes take years for prisoner’s families to be informed of their relative’s whereabouts. Over the years Free Tibet has called on the Chinese government to disclose information about their Tibetan prisoners. Yet the families and the rest of the outside world are left in the dark.
The detention centres are numerous and for years China denied the number of prisons it had in Tibet. While the authorities started closing Re-education through Labour (RTL) camps in 2013 it hasn’t stop them punishing and re-educate prisoners in different ways. There is no way of knowing the exact whereabouts of some of these sites not to mention the location of ‘black jails’ which could be scattered across the region in residential buildings, hotels or hostels.
We do know, from Tibetans, some of the possibilities and what that can mean in Tibet’s most notorious prisons: Drapchi, Chushul and Deyang.
In these institutions Tibet’s political prisoners are beaten, tortured, starved and forced to labour in the most appalling conditions. It is no surprise that prisoners have died shortly after being released and those who don’t speak of the long term pain they suffer as a result of their dentition.
Free Tibet wants to shine a light on Tibet’s dark network of detention facilities:
*please note where a precise address for each facility could not be confirmed the map shows the prison/camp/detention centre to its nearest town or within the county where it is located. Free Tibet will continue to update this map with additional facilities and details.