The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has documented numerous cases of protests particularly led by the nuns of various nunneries in Kardze County in the past few weeks. According to the latest information received by the TCHRD from a reliable source confirmed that, three nuns of Dragkar Nunnery and a female student were arrested by the Kardze County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials for staging a protest yesterday.

On 28 May 2008 at around 9 AM (Beijing Standard Time) three nuns of Dragkar Nunnery in Kardze County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture”(‘TAP’) Sichuan Province staged a peaceful demonstration in Kardze County main market square. The three nuns chanted slogans calling for the “swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet”, “Long Live the Dalai Lama”, “Freedom for Tibet” and “Immediate release of all political prisoners”. The protesting nuns even distributed pamphlets calling for the “independence for Tibet”. After a period of short demonstration they were arrested and taken away by the Kardze County PSB officials for questioning. The names and origins of the three nuns were identified as Ven. Sangye Lhamo, 26 years old from Kyakyatengtsang family of Dungra Village, Serchuteng Township, Kardze County, Ven. Tsewang Kando, 38 years old, Dungra Village, Serchuteng Township, Kardze County, and Ven. Yeshi Lhadon, 24 years old from Tsozhi village, Kardze County. Kardze “TAP” Sichuan Province. The present condition and well-being of three nuns were unknown at the moment.

After about an hour of their demonstration, another solo protest was staged by a 21-year-old female student, Rigden Lhamo of Tapontsang family from Lhakey Village, Thingkha Township, Kardze County, by unfurling the banned Tibetan national flag and shouted similar slogans at the county government headquarters.

According to an eyewitness account from the area, the county security forces fired gunshots and there is no clear information on whether Rigden Lhamo was shot or injured. However, it was confirmed that the County PSB officials detained her after her brief protest in front of the county government headquarters.

According to another eyewitness account from the demonstration site, bloodstains were seen on the body of Rigden Lhamo but it could not be ascertained whether it was from severe beating inflicted on her by the security forces or from the gunshots. There is no information on her current whereabouts at the moment. It was confirmed that she has sustained an injury and therefore should be subjected to immediate medical attention.

The current situation in Kardze is known to be very tense with authorities deploying more security forces into the area to suppress further political dissidence.

TCHRD condemns in strongest terms the Chinese security forces’ brutal use of force on the peaceful Tibetan demonstrators. TCHRD also call upon the PRC government to release all those Tibetans who have been arrested and detained for exercising their fundamental human rights enshrined in the UDHR, constitution and many other international covenants and treaties that she is party to.