This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.
A 19 year-old Tibetan monk has died of injuries sustained from beatings and torture in a Chinese prison in Sichuan’s Kardze prefecture after being released in a comatose state by his jailers, Tibetan sources say.
Tenzin Nyima, also called Tamey, was detained in August 2020 after distributing leaflets and shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence, and died on Tuesday in Kardze’s (in Chinese, Ganzi’s) Dartsedo (Kangding) county, a Tibetan living in India told RFA on Friday.
“On Nov. 12, 2020 we learned that he had been admitted to a hospital in Dartsedo for treatment,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing source in the Kardze area. “Then, on Jan. 19, he returned home from the hospital in a weak physical condition,” he said.
“But he had been tortured and mistreated inside the prison, which led to his paralyzed state and critical condition of health, RFA’s source said.
“Because of bans in India now on Chinese social media apps, which were our usual means of getting information out of Tibet, we’re not able to get more information now about Tamey following his death,” he said.
Tenzin Nyima, a monk in Kardze’s Dza Wonpo monastery, was arrested with four other monks on Nov. 7, 2019 after they held a peaceful protest outside a local police station “in which they threw leaflets in the air, calling for Tibet’s independence,” the London-based Free Tibet advocacy group said in a Jan. 22 press release.
“Tenzin Nyima was released in May 2020 but arrested again on 11 August 2020 for sharing the news of his arrest and contacting Tibetans in exile in India,” Free Tibet said.
“Tenzin’s killing is emblematic of the brutality of China’s occupation of Tibet and flagrant disregard for human life,” Free Tibet’s Campaign and Advocacy Manager John Jones said.
“The moment Tenzin Nyima was detained he was placed at the mercy of the police. It was effectively a death sentence.”
In a statement Friday, the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet called for an independent investigation into Tenzin Nyima’s death, calling it “part of a pattern of torture and mistreatment in Tibet.”
“Those responsible in the Chinese state and party apparatus must be held accountable for the pattern of torture and mistreatment of Tibetans,” ICT Interim President Bhuchung Tsering said.
“Tibetans need justice, and torture must stop in Tibet,” Tsering said. “The international community has an obligation to act.”