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24 may 2012 001Dharamshala: - In the final part of a series of special interviews conducted by American journalist Paul Eggers, Tsering Samdup, storekeeper at Gu Chu Sum college for Tibetan ex-political prisoners in Dharamsala, north India, describes participating in a protest in Tibetan capital Lhasa, and his subesequent imprisonment and torture.

My name is Tsering Samdup. I am from Phempo Lhundhup County and was born in 1976. I took part in a demonstration in Lhasa in 1994 with four friends. We made the [Barkhor] circumambulation of the [Jokhang] temple.

We shouted the slogans "Independence for Tibet!", "The Chinese must go back to china!" and "Long live the Dalai lama!". We demonstrated for five minutes, then uniformed police and army officers arrested us. They took us to the police station and kept us there for an hour before the beatings and torture began.

When I was in prison, it was normal to be beaten. I even received a few beatings on the way to prison. We were tortured with electronic cattle prods and beaten with whatever they had to hand. When I was at Gutsa Detention Centre they took my blood three times. I didn't get good treatment. Spinal fluid was taken .

Because I received so much torture, I still have problems with my health. The other prisoners received more torture, worse torture, than I did. Some had broken ribs, some had life sentences. For me, it wasn't much. I have seen with my own eyes patients with broken ribs and have seen others die. So compared to those prisoners, what I endured was nothing.

In the future, I hope the Tibet issue will be resolved, that truth will prevail, and I wish for complete independence. Before 1959, Tibet was a completely independent country. There is much proof of this. For example, we had a national flag, our own currency and paid taxes to our government. I hope Tibet will again become an independent country.

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