Tibetans mark International Day for Victims of Torture

DHARAMSALA 26 June: We are here to educate the young Tibetan children, the future of Tibet about the horrendous torture China has subjected Tibetans to over the last sixty years since its illegal occupation of Tibet, says Dawa Tashi, the Vice President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet an organization of former Tibetan political prisoners here in Dharamsala.

Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet has collaborated with the Central Tibetan Administration’s Health Department to mark the International Day for the Victims of Torture by organizing a photo exhibition and an art competition for the Tibetan students at the lower TCV school here in lower Dharamsala.

“We are observing the 22nd International Day for the Victims of Torture with the Tibetan children through a photo exhibition and art competition. They are the future of Tibet and we are educating them about China’s harsh and brutal policies in Tibet that resulted in arbitrary detention of Tibetans and subjecting them to horrendous torture,” Dawa Tashi said and added that, “the pain and anguish Tibetans continue to endure under Chinese occupation is a tragic part of Tibetan history and as such we have organized this art contest for them to express their feelings using their creative visualization.”

Five students each from class 6- 10 of lower TCV school took part in the art competition. The top three drawings will be awarded a cash prize of INR 3,000, 2,000 and 1,000 respectively.

Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet’s exhibition contains over 200 photos that has been divided into sixty section to represent the sixty years of Chinese occupation of Tibet, beginning from the time of Tibet’s independence to China’s occupation, 1959 Tibetan National Uprising, cultural revolution, 1987-1989 Uprising in Tibet, 2008 Pan-Tibetan movement and the self-immolation protests.

The photos show a range of torture techniques and ill-treatment that the Chinese communist regime often uses on Tibetans as a weapon against dissent, creating a climate of fear in a gross violation of human rights inside Tibet.

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect. Today the convention has been ratified by 163 countries.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June in 1997 to speak out against the crime of torture and to honour and support victims and survivors throughout the world, its main objective is to totally eradicate torture.

The Human Rights Court has described torture a ‘deliberate inhuman treatment causing very serious and cruel suffering’.

“Torture is a vicious attempt at breaking a person’s will. On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, I urge all States to end impunity for perpetrators and eradicate these reprehensible acts that defy our common humanity. ” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said in a statement issued earlier today.

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