The sister of Tibetan entrepreneur Tashi Dorjee, Gonpo Kyi, was beaten by Chinese police on August 1, 2023, when she asked to meet her brother imprisoned in Drapchi prison in Lhasa. Photo: file

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Dharamshala, India — Chinese authorities in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, beat up an innocent Tibetan woman, Gonpo Kyi, who asked to meet her brother Tashi Dorjee, a well-known Tibetan businessman imprisoned and sentenced to life imprisonment for being accused of "loan fraud" by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court on May 17, 2010.

The Tibetan entrepreneur's sister, Gonpo Kyi, went to Drapchi prison in Lhasa on August 1, 2023 and asked the Chinese authorities in charge to allow her to meet her brother Tashi Dorjee, who is serving a life sentence there and is suffering from poor health as a result of repeated and brutal beatings inflicted on him by the Chinese authorities during the trials. Instead of allowing her to meet her brother, the authorities physically assaulted her outside Drapchi prison on the same day.

In her latest video, Gonpo Kyi reveals how she was physically assaulted by Chinese police outside Drapchi prison on August 1, 2023. In the video, Gonpo Kyi says,"On 1 August, I approached the police station near Drapchi prison and requested the authorities’ permission to meet with my brother under the provisions of the country’s constitution and law. Since I had no other choice, I prostrated before the authorities and requested that the process be carried out as per the Chinese Constitution. The authorities violently dragged me to the ground and charged me with violating the law for prostrating."

Showing the bruises on her arms and elbows, she declares, "These are the evidence of the beating and pulling I suffered at the hands of the prison police. About four or five policemen have dragged me like an animal since I asked to meet my imprisoned brother, because I had no other choice."

After Tashi Dorjee's unjust imprisonment, family members tried everything, including approaching higher government officials and the courts to obtain his release or a fair trial, but to no avail. So Tashi Dorjee's sister, Gonpo Kyi, began openly protesting and demanding her brother's release. Gonpo Kyi was detained on January 31, 2023 while demonstrating in front of the Higher People's Court of the Tibet Autonomous Region in Lhasa, she was briefly detained before being released with a warning. Gonpo has been threatened with arrest if she continues her protests advocating for justice for her younger brother.

Dorjee Tashi was a successful businessman who owned luxury hotels and real estate companies in Tibet before he was arrested in July 2008. He was accused of “secessionist "by the Chinese authorities. Although the political charges were later dropped, he was convicted of "loan fraud" and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court on May 17, 2010.

Both the United States and the European Union have expressed concern about Dorjee Tashi's arbitrary detention. At the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council, held from September 12 to October 7, 2022, the EU called for Dorjee's immediate and unconditional release.

2023 Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's Medal of Courage is awarded to Dorjee Tashi, famous Tibetan businessman and political prisoner, together with his sister Gonpo Kyi, for fearlessly protesting against the Chinese authorities to obtain justice for his brother.

China-Tibet: The one-thing you need to know

Over the past 70 decades, there has been ongoing political repression, social discrimination, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation, particularly due to Chinese migration to Tibet which is fueling intense resentment among the people of occupied Tibet.

The communist-totalitarian state of China began its invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent Buddhist nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism. Religion was a unifying theme among the Tibetans -- as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.