Detainees in Dza Wonpo subjected to torture and political re-education

Dza Wonpo, the scene of at least 117 arrests in two months
15th September 2021

Around 117 Tibetans remain in detention, with at least one being denied medical treatment

Tibetan detainees in Dza Wonpo in eastern Tibet are being forced to undergo political re-education and there are reports of torture, Tibet Watch has found. Calls for medical care have also been rejected for one of the female detainees.

Over the past three weeks, around 117 Tibetans have been detained in Dza Wonpo Township, which is located in Sershul County, Kardze, in the Tibetan province of Kham. Of those arrested, four of them have been released so far. 

Local sources have revealed that those remaining in detention are being forced to undergo political re-education training on a daily basis. They are given low-quality food and no warm clothing is being provided.

According to the source, Kardon, one of the women who were arrested on 3 September, had requested immediate medical attention for a sudden illness. The Sershul County hospital authority, in coordination with local security officials, has refused to register her medical complaint. Local authorities are preventing Kardon from visiting another hospital and without the medical registration form she cannot receive treatment for her illness.

Currently, Dza Wonpo Village is under military lockdown with security forces continuing to conduct search operations. They are looking for people who have contact with Tibetans living in exile and those suspected of being loyal to the 14th Dalai Lama, who remains in India having escaped Tibet in 1959. Many of those in detention were reportedly arrested after they were found in possession of pictures of the Dalai Lama.

Those who were suspected of leaking information to Tibetans in exile have reportedly been subjected to repeated interrogation and torture. Their mobile and social media accounts are also being scrutinised for possible communication with Tibetans in exile. 

The current crackdown in Dza Wonpo builds on military and police operations in November 2019, following the arrest of six young Tibetans for calling for Tibet’s independence at a time when Chinese officials were touring the area. One of the six, Tenzin Nyima, was later rearrested and died in hospital in January 2021 due to injuries sustained in prison. Authorities in Dza Wonpo have subsequently tried to repress attempts by residents to send details of Tenzin Nyima’s death to the wider world.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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