Gonpo Kyi, the sister of wrongfully imprisoned Tibetan businessman Dorjee Tashi, is bravely raising her voice against the appalling police brutality she faced while seeking to visit her incarcerated brother at Drapchi Prison, also known as Tibet Autonomous Region Prison No.1.
Video clips obtained by the International Campaign for Tibet reveal the distressing incident that occurred on 1 August 2023, when Gonpo sought permission to see her imprisoned brother. The authorities not only denied her request but also accused her of engaging in illegal activity.
The situation escalated when the police resorted to physical force, manhandling her by pushing and pulling her. In a heart-wrenching moment, Gonpo displayed bruises on her arms as compelling evidence of the excessive force used against her.
Watch the videos of Gonpo Kyi describing the police’s brutality toward her.
Translation of Gonpo’s remarks: “On 1 August 2023, I pleaded outside the prison gate. I pleaded with them to let me meet the prisoner [her brother Dorjee] according to the laws of the country. I pleaded with them to act according to the law. I was helpless. I pleaded with them to act according to the country’s constitution. The people at the police station said that my plea was a violation of the law, and I was forcibly pushed and pulled around outside the prison gate.”
Translation of Gonpo’s remarks: “[Showing her bruised arm] This is evidence that I was forcibly pushed and pulled by the police officers outside Drapchi Prison gate yesterday. I pleaded because I did not even have the right to meet the prisoner [her brother Dorjee]. Look at this [shows bruises]. They also said they didn’t do anything to me, this is evidence, four or five of them dealt with me alone.”
Gonpo and her family have been tireless advocates for justice for Dorjee Tashi, resorting to public protests after their decade-long quiet advocacy attempts yielded no results. In June 2022, Gonpo courageously pledged to continue her struggle until her brother is released from wrongful imprisonment.
Dorjee Tashi, an innocent businessman, fell victim to an unjust campaign orchestrated by corrupt leaders in the Tibet Autonomous Region who falsely labeled him a “secessionist” merely for refusing to comply with their financial demands. Despite having no political involvement, Dorjee was falsely charged with “loan fraud.” In July 2010, he was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment with deprivation of political rights for life by the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court.
Human rights abuse in Tibet
Dorjee’s case stands as a stark reminder of the ongoing human rights violations in Tibet. As a prominent businessman and philanthropist, he faced unimaginable torture during his pre-trial detention, as documented by the International Campaign for Tibet. His current confinement at Tibet Autonomous Region Prison No.1, known for its inhumane conditions, further exemplifies the need for immediate attention to such cases of human rights abuses.
The concerns expressed by the European Union and the United States underscore the gravity of Dorjee Tashi’s arbitrary detention. During the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in September-October 2022, the EU strongly called for his immediate and unconditional release. Similarly, the United States acknowledged his detention in its annual human rights reports for both 2021 and 2022.
In light of this distressing situation, the international community must rally together to demand justice and freedom for Dorjee Tashi and other victims of human rights violations in Tibet. The call for his release is not just an isolated incident but represents a broader struggle for upholding fundamental human rights and dignity for all individuals, regardless of their background or beliefs.