Tibetan fungus harvester beaten to death by police

Yudrug Nyima
Yudrug Nyima
5th July 2016

Yudrug Nyima died after police beatings; meanwhile monk and protester Tsering Yoyoling has been released from prison.

On 20 June, Yudrug Nyima, a Tibetan man from Derge County, Kardze, Eastern Tibet, died after being held in local police custody. Yudrug Nyima, 40, was severely beaten by the police while in detention.


Yudrug Nyima was apprehended on 20 June by local police in Rakor, where he had gone to harvest caterpillar fungus. The police claimed that Yudrug had a gun in his possession and took him to the local detention centre in Rakor, where he was beaten. Yudrug Nyima was then driven by police to Derge but he died from his injuries on the way.

Yudrug Nyima was a collector of Ophiocordyceps sinensis, known as ‘caterpillar fungus’, a fungus that parasitises larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body which is highly valued as a herbal remedy, especially as an aphrodisiac. Caterpillar fungus has become an increasingly important source of cash income in rural Tibet, in recent years.

Tsering Yoyoling
Tsering Yoyoling

A former monk and protester has been released from prison after completing a five-year sentence. Tsering Yoyoling was released from Deyang Prison in Sichuan Province on 24 June 2016.

Tsering Yoyoling was arrested in June 2011 at a hotel in Ngaba County after taking part in a protest outside the county office in 2008. Local police had been searching for him for three years before they ultimately found and arrested him.

A local source said: “Tsering led the life of a fugitive for three years and suffered tremendously”.

Tsering Yoyoling was welcomed home by relatives and friends. According to sources, there have been none of the restrictions on them visiting that some former prisoners have been subject to.

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