Witness To China’s Massacre

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Shot dead, Mr. Thawa Ghongma was among eight other 8 Tibetans killed by Chinese Security Forces when thousands of monks from Ngaba Kirti Monastery led a pro-Tibet independence demonstration on March 16 2008.

“Eyewitness accounts confirm that Chinese security forces used disproportionate force and acted with deliberate brutality during and after unprecedented Tibetan protests beginning on March 10, 2008, Human Rights Watch said in a new report “I Saw It with My Own Eyes’: Abuses by Security Forces in Tibet, 2008-2010” released today. Many violations continue today, including disappearances, wrongful convictions and imprisonment, persecution of families, and the targeting of Tibetans suspected of sympathizing with the protest movement.” (Extract from HRW Press Release-July 20 2010)

“They were firing straight at people. They were coming from the direction of Jiangsu Lu firing at any Tibetans they saw, and many people had been killed.” Pema Lhakyi (not her real name,) a 24-year -old Lhasa resident.

“She was shot by a single bullet in the head. Local people managed to take her body home to the village, which is about five kilometers from Tongkor monastery.” Sonam Tenzin (not his real name), a 27-year-old monk from Tongkor monastery.

“At first, the soldiers fired in front of the crowd a few times to scare them, but the crowd thought they would not dare to actually fire and continued crowding inside the compound. At that point, the soldiers started to fire.” Tenpa Trinle (not his real name), a 26-year-old monk from Seda county.

“The first thing I saw was a lot of soldiers and police beating the crowd with electric batons. Groups of four or five soldiers were arresting crowd members one by one and putting them in a truck.” Dorje Tso (not his real name) 55-year-old resident from Tongren.

“They burst in, breaking the doors and gates of the colleges and dormitories. The soldiers were armed and equipped with hatchets and hammers, as well as torches, handcuffs and wire ropes. On entering monks’ rooms they would first ask for phones, which were systematically confiscated … Some of the arrested monks were handcuffed; others tied up with wire ropes … They ordered us to move very fast, and if we didn’t, they’d hit us. Several hundred monks were taken away.” Jampa Lhaga (not his real name), a former Drepung monk in Lhasa.

“We were beaten very badly. The guards used clubs and sticks to beat us … They hit us mostly on the lower body. This lasted two days. Then we were taken to Gutsa prison in Lhasa. There, the police interrogated us non-stop for two whole days and nights. They were beating us, taking turns to conduct the interrogation …” Rinchen Namgyal (not his real name), a 33-year-old monk from Ganden monastery.

“Up to 30 people were crowded in cells of three or four square meters. There was no space to sit down so detainees had to stand most of the day and night. The cells had no toilets but prisoners were not taken out and had to relieve themselves in the cell. They were given one bowl of rice congee a day. Many were subjected to beatings.” Pasang Choepel (not his real name), a former detainee from Aba.

“The beatings continued in the courtyard. The PAP soldiers were using belts and the butt of their guns … They were kicking him on the ground, and he was bleeding a lot—there was so much blood. Then they left him just lying on the ground, motionless … I saw it with my own eyes.” Lhundrup Dorje (not his real name), a resident from Lhasa.

Testimonies from “‘I Saw It with My Own Eyes’: Abuses by Security Forces in Tibet, 2008-2010”. With appreciation to Human Rights Watch-More information at: http://www.hrw.org/

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