Dharamsala, October 13: A Tibetan nun jailed in May 2008 had become “mentally unsound” after being reportedly tortured in prison and was handed over to her family in September 2008, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) based here said in a statement to the press.The Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSP) and People’s Armed Police(PAP) arrested 36 year old Sonam Choedon, a nun of Puruna Nunnery in Lhoba Township, Kardze County, Kardze “Tibet Autonomous Prefecture” on May 14, 2008.
“Confirmed information” received from sources indicate that Sonam suffered severe head injury on being knocked on the head several times with rifle butt during her detention. “Her head injury seems to have rendered her mentally unstable and she is said to be crying constantly at her home and requires 24 hours care.”
Around 200 nuns of Puruna Nunnery and Yangteng Nunnery carried out protests against the Chinese Government in Kardze County in 2008 during the nationwide uprising that sparked off from the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Several nuns were arrested in the aftermath of the protests. Trulku Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, an influential Lama who heads the 2 nunneries, was also arrested on May 18, 2008 and sentenced to 8 years in prison in December 2009.
Sonam Lhatso was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Bhumo to 9 years, Sokha and Yangchen Khando to 3 years and Tashi Lhamo to 2 years, according to the TCHRD. All were nuns of Puruna nunnery.