Tibetan Women's Association protests against Chinese government on on Intl. Prisoner Justice Day. Photo: File

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Dharamshala, India — The Central and Regional Tibetan Women's Association organized a protest on August 10, 2021, the International Day of Justice for Prisoners, to protest the Chinese government's mistreatment of Tibetan prisoners in Chinese prisons.

On the International Prisoner’s Justice Day, Tibetan women from the Central and regional Tibetan Women's Association in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, India, protested against the Chinese government's illegal arrest of Tibetans who were merely expressing their basic human rights, and against the injustice done to Tibetan prisoners in Chinese jails.

They displayed pictures of Tibetans and Tibetan prisoners who were tortured, beaten, and killed by the Chinese government. They also held banners that reads "Stop Genocide in Tibet," "Stop Killing in Tibet," "Release All Tibetan Political Prisoners," and "Release the 11th Panchen Lama" etc.

“Today, on International Prisoner’s Justice Day, TWA is commemorating this day to express solidarity with the millions of people imprisoned unjustly by the Chinese Communist Party and to highlight their plight,” a representative of TWA said on the site of the protest.

“Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Tibetans in Tibet for long have been and are victims of arbitrary detention, extreme torture and involuntarily disappearance only because they exercised their basic human rights. The prisoners were mercilessly tortured in prison and many do not make it out alive,” one the protestor explained.

“Since Tibetan detainees are mostly charged with national security crimes without due process, they are held incommunicado for months and in extremely worse living conditions. One of the most high-profile cases of arbitrary arrest is of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet. Abducted on 17 May, 1995, the six-year-old Panchen Lama has been held incommunicado since then. Even after 26 years of he enforced disappearance of the world’s youngest political prisoner and second most important Tibetan Buddhist figure, we do not know of his and his family’s conditions and whereabouts,” stated a member of TWA.

“Countless number of monks and nuns have been imprisoned and put in re-education centers. In the camp, they were forcefully disrobed and put in Chinese military attire. Monks and nuns were forced to sing the Chinese national anthem and songs in praise of Mao and the Chinese government,” mentioned in their statement.

“Since the late 1950’s one of the worst histories of Human Rights violations is ongoing in Tibet, one which especially concerns women. Tibetan prisoners are victims of a wide range of violence, including torture, organ harvesting, forced starvation, excessive beatings and so on. In their attempt at ethnic genocide, the reproductive cycles of Tibetan women are thoroughly monitored by the Chinese Government. More vulnerable than their male counterpart, Tibetan women prisoners undergo rape, brutal abortions and sterilizations and distortion of their private parts through extensive heinous measures of torture. Even those who come out alive after imprisonment are unable to bear children and live a healthy life again,” the statement explained.

The Tibetan Women’s Association demanded the following from the UN and Human rights institutions:

- To pressurize China to release the transparent information on the whereabouts and conditions of His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama and his family
- To pressurize China to release transparent data of all the Tibetan Prisoners arrested by the CCP since the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
- To pressurise China to put an end to the unjust arrest and arbitrary detention and its practice of incommunicado against Tibetans in Tibet for exercising their basic human rights
- To send human rights representatives from UN to Tibet to survey and examine the conditions of Tibetan prisoners especially that of women prisoners in Tibet
- To pressurize China to grant a fair trial to all the prisoners with clear transparency of the trial with the media and public
- To close its re-education camps set up by CCP for Tibetans and Uighurs.

“TWA demands changes to the criminal justice system practiced by Chinese Communist Party that unjustly and wrongfully arrests Tibetans in Tibet only for excercising their fundamental human rights and the one that dehumanizes and brutalizes prisoners,” the statement concluded.