07/02/2012, 00.00
TIBET - CHINA

A 17-year-old Tibetan woman beaten, arrested for demanding the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet

Chinese police arrested Jigme Dolma for handing out flyers in a market in Kardze (Sichuan province) on 24 June. She was hospitalised because of injuries she suffered to her hands, legs and back after she was beaten by police. The young woman's aunt is a nun who purged a two-year sentence for taking part in anti-Chinese protests in 2008.

Kardze (AsiaNews) - Chinese police beat and arrested a 17-year-old Tibetan woman for demanding the return of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's independence and the release of the Panchen Lama and all other Tibetan political prisoners. According to sources cited by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), the incident occurred on 24 June in Kardze County (Sichuan province). The victim, Jigme Dolma, was taken to a local hospital because of the injuries she suffered and is under police guard.

In the morning of 24 June, the young woman was handing out flyers in Kardze's main market, calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and Tibet's independence. Four minutes later, police agents took her away.

After her arrest, Jigme's father asked police to see his daughter but his request was refused. On 28 June, he found out that she had been hospitalised because of injuries she sustained during her arrest. A day later, police allowed him to see the young woman who showed bruises to the hands, legs and back.

One of Jigme's aunts is Traga, a Tibetan nun arrested during anti-Chinese protests in March 2008 crushed by Chinese soldiers who fired upon demonstrators. At least 13 people were killed in the Kardze area, more than 200 across Tibet. Since then, the region has been under military occupation. The nun was sentenced to two years in prison.

A year after her release, Traga fell ill and was admitted to hospital in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. According to her doctors, the nun's health deteriorated in prison and got worse because of the lack of treatment.

According to the TCHRD, Jigme Dolma is being held in Kardze County's Detention Centre. Her medical condition and well-being remain a great concern to her family. (NC)

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