Torture, Hunger, Mobile Sterilisation Units.The Brutal Reality of Tibet 2008; SECRET MISSION: Director Jezza Neumann with Exile Tash Despa While Filming Undercover and, Left, Protesters Lined Up by Police after the Rioting in Tibet

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), March 30, 2008 | Go to article overview

Torture, Hunger, Mobile Sterilisation Units.The Brutal Reality of Tibet 2008; SECRET MISSION: Director Jezza Neumann with Exile Tash Despa While Filming Undercover and, Left, Protesters Lined Up by Police after the Rioting in Tibet


Byline: Claudia Joseph

BRITISH filmmakers have emerged from three months undercover in Tibet torelease a terrifying portrayal of Chinese repression, including shootings,torture and the brutal sterilisation of women left maimed by crude operations.

Their film, to be shown tomorrow night as part of Channel 4's Dispatchesseries, was made before the recent outbreak of anti-Chinese rioting in theTibetan capital, Lhasa.

But with hundreds of jailed Tibetan protesters now in fear for their lives, theharrowing footage will add to the storm of condemnation gathering ahead of theBeijing Olympics this year.

The documentary's investigation began with the notorious 2006 shootings on theNangpa La pass, when unarmed Tibetans trying to leave the country were gunneddown by Chinese border guards. Two Tibetans were killed and 32 detained,interrogated and then sent to a labour camp 150 miles from Lhasa.

The experiences of one of those held, Jamyang Samten, now 16, gives a clue tothe fate of Tibetan protesters now in the hands of the Chinese police.

He told the programme makers he was given electric shocks with a cattle prod,chained to a wall and hit in the stomach by a guard wearing a metal glove. Ifhe made a minor mistake in his interrogation, he would be beaten with a chain.

'The way the Chinese tortured was terrifying,' he said. 'They beat us usingtheir full strength. Sometimes they forced us to take off our clothes. We werelocked up in a room with our arms and legs handcuffed and they beat us.

The chain injured the surface but not the inside of the body.

'If they hit us with the electric baton, our entire body trembled and graduallywe were unable to speak.' Jamyang was eventually released and finally made itover the border to Kathmandu in Nepal after paying a guide the equivalent of[pounds sterling]210.

Tibetan women are also forcibly prevented from having children, despitesupposedly being exempt from China's strict birth-control laws, the film'sdirector Jezza Neumann discovered..

Measures include monitoring menstrual cycles, forced abortions andsterilisation if women cannot afford a fine for having a second child. Onewoman, a married farmer, described her agony at a forced sterilisationoperation without anaesthetic.

She could not afford the fine, equivalent to [pounds sterling]70, and was one of six in hervillage who went through the ordeal.

'I was forcibly taken away against my will. I was feeling sick and giddy andcouldn't look up,' she said. 'Apparently they cut the fallopian tubes andstitched them up. It was agonisingly painful.

They didn't use anaesthetic. They just smeared something on my stomach andcarried out the sterilisation. …

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Torture, Hunger, Mobile Sterilisation Units.The Brutal Reality of Tibet 2008; SECRET MISSION: Director Jezza Neumann with Exile Tash Despa While Filming Undercover and, Left, Protesters Lined Up by Police after the Rioting in Tibet
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