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Jailed Tibetan environmentalist tortured by China police during detention since January

Posted by Author on June 22, 2010

The Guardian, UK, June 22, 2010 –

A jailed Tibetan environmentalist used the opening of his trial today to accuse Chinese captors of beatings, sleep deprivation and other maltreatment, his wife told reporters.

Karma Samdrup – a prominent businessman and award-winning conservationist – issued a statement in court detailing the brutal interrogation methods, including drugs that made his ears bleed, used on him since his detention on 3 January.

“If not for his voice, I would not have recognised him,” his wife Zhenga Cuomao told the Associated Press.

She said Samdrup appeared gaunt when he appeared at the Yangqi county courthouse in Xinjiang, the mountainous province neighbouring Tibet.

Prosecutor Kuang Ying denied violence had been used against Samdrup, who founded the Three Rivers Environmental Protection group and pushed for conservation of the source region for the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang (Mekong) rivers.

The wealthy Tibetan art collector is an unlikely political prisoner. His group has won several awards for its work, including the Earth Prize, which is jointly administered by Friends of the Earth Hong Kong and the Ford motor company.

In 2006, he was named philanthropist of the year by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) for “creating harmony between men and nature”.

He was arrested earlier this year and accused of robbing graves and stealing cultural artefacts. Supporters say these were old, trumped-up charges that were dismissed by police 12 years ago. If convicted, the maximum penalty is death or life in prison, though his lawyer says a more lenient sentence is likely.

His trial has been delayed for several weeks amid claims that he is being unfairly punished for lobbying the authorities for the release of his two brothers.

His siblings, Rinchen Samdrup and Jigme Namgyal, were arrested last August after their separate environmental protection group – Voluntary Environmental Protection Association of Kham Anchung Senggenamzong – sought to expose officials who hunted endangered animals. Namgyal is serving a 21-month re-education-through-labour sentence for “harming national security.”…… (The Guardian)

One Response to “Jailed Tibetan environmentalist tortured by China police during detention since January”

  1. brian said

    Sounds like Stalinist Russia of the 1930’s-40’s all over again! I wonder if they accuse prisoners of being “enemies of the people”? And who would those people be? Just say it like it is. We want no dissent.

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