The Tibetan girl Tsedon, and her Tibet University.

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Dharamshala – A young Tibetan student from Tibet University in Lhasa died mysteriously, while in Chinese police detention on January 15, 2024. Many Tibetans believe that she must have died as a result of brutal torture by the Chinese authorities, as this is not the first time a Tibetan has died in custody after being arrested or detained; a Tibetan woman called Lhamo died in custody in recent years due to inhuman torture and beatings by Chinese authorities.

According to the source, the young Tibetan girl from Tibet University in Lhasa was detained by Chinese police in Ritso township, Nyemo County, central Tibet, on December 26, 2023. After 21 days in detention, the police informed her family that she was dead and refused to return her body to the family members.

A young Tibetan woman called Tsedon, a second-year undergraduate student at the Tibet University in Lhasa, was reported dead on January 15, 2024. The local police informed her family that "she had fallen suddenly and could not get up, and that she had been admitted to hospital and dead in the people’s hospital of Nyemo county", but the police refused to give her body over to her family.

"Although family members repeatedly asked the authorities to return her body, they were told that the body was not allowed as it was undergoing a postmortem,” the source said. “Later, the local police informed her family that she had fallen suddenly and could not get up, and that she had been admitted to hospital. Tsedon was a healthy person before arrested by the Chinese police. Therefore we suspect that she was beaten and tortured to death by the Chinese police,” the source added.

“After Tsedon's arrest, her parents and relatives went to the local police station to ask for details of her arrest, but they were only told that she had been arrested after a year's investigation for a number of reasons, without giving any details of the precise reasons for her arrest and explain why she has been arrested,” the source said.

Tsedon was in her second-year undergraduate in Tibet University in Lhasa in Lhasa. She used to gives private lessons to many students during the winter and summer holidays. She also distributes textbooks free of charge and helps other students to study,” the source explained.

A Tibetan woman named Lhamo also killed by Chinese authorities, while she was in the detention in 2020. Lhamo, hails from Driru County in the Kham region of Tibet, was arrested later in June, 2020, over sending money to family members in India. She was in good health before being arrested by Chinese police. She was severely beaten and tortured in detention and was hospitalised before dying in hospital, due to severely torture and ill-treatment inflicted by the Chinese authorities. In August, 2020, members of her family were called to the hospital, where they found Lhamo severely bruised and unable to speak. She died two days later, and her body was immediately cremated, preventing any medical examination.

Tibetans, particularly young students in the United States and Europe, have expressed their deep sadness at the news of the death of their sister Tsedon, who is the same age as them and who was tortured and beaten by the Chinese. They have also expressed their solidarity with the members of her family. Then the Tibetans protested against the Chinese authorities and demanded justice for Tsedon, who was killed in detention.

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.