Sunday, October 1, 2006

From the ICT-profile on political prisoner Dawa Gyaltsen

The latest from the International Campaign for Tibet --
Take Action for Dawa Gyaltsen!

Political Prisoner Profile

In 1996 Dawa Gyaltsen was arrested for distributing posters calling for a stop to patriotic education at Zhabten Monastery in Nagchu County (where his brother was a monk) and calling for Tibetan independence. He has been tortured for expressing his support for the Tibetan people and despite a 25 month sentence reduction, is serving 15 years of the 18 year prison term for 'counterrevolutionary' activities.

You can voice your support for Dawa Gyaltsen by signing this petition (you can also download a hard copy here) that will be sent to Dr. Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, calling on him to raise the case of Dawa Gyaltsen with the Chinese government.

Dawa Gyaltsen was arrested and tortured in 1996, after calling for Tibetan independence and an end to forced political education at monasteries. He continues to be held in prison today - Take Action Now!

Politically Motivated Arrest

After the incident, Dawa Gyaltsen fled to Lhasa in the hopes of avoiding arrest. However, he was detained and tortured in early 1996 and forced to admit his brother's involvement in putting up the posters at Zhabten Monastery. After his arrest, the Nagchu Intermediate People's Court convicted Dawa Gyaltsen and his brother on charges of "organizing or leading a counterrevolutionary group" and "counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement". He is currently serving an 18 year prison term and his brother is serving a 13 year prison term. Dawa Gyaltsen's sentence was reduced in 2002 and again in 2004, resulting in a 25 month reduction.


Tibetan youth activist Tenzin Tsundue, who was once held in the same detention center as Dawa Gyaltsen, recently stated: "Once he showed me his wrists. There were clear scars of torture - a ring of white scar tissue ran around his wrists. He told me that when he was first arrested he was handcuffed and thrown into a dark room without food for ten days. To keep him alive, the jailors would splash water on him once a day. The handcuffs tightened around his wrists. They ate into his flesh, forming sores, and puss. After 10 days when they unlocked the shackles, the metal rings ripped off skin from his wrist. He said he was not given medical attention and it took many months for the sores to heal. In the cold prison cell, the wounds had healed, but the marks remained."

Despite having his sentence reduced, the case has yet to be resolved justly. Therefore, ICT calls for the immediate release of Dawa Gyaltsen.

Take Action!

Join ICT in supporting Dawa Gyaltsen by signing this petition calling on Dr. Manfred Nowak to raise Dawa Gyaltsen's case with the Chinese government.

In solidarity,

International Campaign for Tibet

There are others as well and you can read about them here. If you want to be kept up to date on such issues, you can
sign up here.
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