LONDON, Jan. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Major new evidence shows the destruction of religious and cultural sites in Tibet; locals warn it’s a second ‘Cultural Revolution’.
The new report by NGO Free Tibet and charity Tibet Watch, details previously unreported torture, detentions and destruction of Tibetan heritage in Drago in eastern Tibet.
Tibetan’s living in Drago have been under siege by the Chinese government with crackdowns on the Tibetan way of life for some years. Tibet Watch found this escalated under Wang Dongsheng, the newly nominated Chinese Party Secretary of Drago.
Wang Dongsheng was previously involved in mass demolitions and expulsions of thousands of monks and nuns from the Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Larung Gar.
John Jones, Campaign and Advocacy Manager at Free Tibet, said: “This new report shows how residents of Drago County, known for its strong sense of Tibetan identity and resistance, have been under siege since October 2021, with their cultural and religious heritage coming under attack and locals being detained, tortured and subjected to ‘re-education’.”
‘Desecration in Drago Country: Destruction of Tibetan Religious Heritage, Arbitrary Detentions and Torture’ focuses on events between October 2021 and June 2022. For the first time, the report documents a new extrajudicial facility used for political ‘education’, and information about a military base and prison.
Satellite photos show before and after images, including the destruction of three colossal statues of Buddha, evoking the Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan 20 years earlier. Evidence also details the destruction of a Buddhist school, a building housing 45 giant prayer wheels, the residence of a revered spiritual leader, and the burning of Drago monastery’s prayer flags.
The report also found new information about security crackdowns in the months following the 2012 mass protest in Drago, which includes primary schools being temporarily used as places to detain and torture protesters, and a police shooting at an entire family of a protester.
Tibet is rich in minerals and resources, as well as being a military strategic and trade route for China.
The brutal occupation of Tibet by China and the use of torture has been a longstanding and widespread human rights abuse since the 1950s.
Free Tibet urges international governments to push China into a prompt and full investigation into the destruction of religious and cultural sites in Drago Country.