Today’s Independent (UK) reports on the experience of a Tibetan nun who had the misfortune of once declaring her loyalty to the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet. When she was thirteen years old, Chinese authorities arrested Ngawang Sangdrol for taking part in a peaceful demonstration for Tibetan freedom. Once behind bars, her jailers made no distinction for her age or gender in tormenting the teen almost to her death:
Ngawang Sangdrol was just 13 when she was first imprisoned by China in Tibet. She was so small her prison guards found it easy to pick her up by the legs and drop her, head first, on to the stone floor of her cell.
They beat her with iron rods, placed electric shock batons in her mouth and left her standing in the baking heat until she collapsed of exhaustion. They called her the “ballerina”, because when the pain became too much for her, she would stand on the tips of her toes like a dancer. “The more we cried out in pain,” she said, “the more they laughed.”
“They would put a rope around your neck, tie both your hands and hang you down from the ceiling. They used iron bars to beat you systematically,” she says. “And once you are imprisoned there is no difference between a child and an adult and an elderly person, or between a man and a woman. All punishments and torture methods are equal for everyone.”
Sangrol spent ten years imprisoned in Chinese torture chambers. The Chinese thought that she would soon die, regardless of whether she stayed in prison or was discharged. They released her only when she signed an agreement never to disclose what happened to her in prison. She made her way to the US after her release and now campaigns actively to raise awareness of the brutal methods used by the Chinese to oppress the primarily nonviolent Tibetan separatist movement.
I point this out just in case anyone still doesn’t understand the difference between systemic torture as policy and genocide as a state goal on one hand, and isolated cases of abuse by rogue personnel who get prosecuted for their actions on the other.
UPDATE: Don’t miss this report from a high-ranking military officer about the abuse occurring at Gitmo … the real abuse.