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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China releases Tibetan film-making monk -- report

October 20, 2008

October 19, 2008

BEIJING, Oct 19 (Reuters) -- A Tibetan monk who was imprisoned after
helping make a film about the Olympics and Tibet has been released
but was severely tortured while in prison, according to the film makers.

Farmer Dhondup Wangchen and his monk friend Golog Jigme -- also known
as Jigme Gyatso -- were detained shortly after finishing the film,
called "Leaving Fear Behind", but managed to smuggle tapes out of the country.

The film was shown to a small group of foreign reporters in secret in
Beijing during the Olympics in August.

The two were arrested in March.

"It is not clear, according to information from Tibet, if all charges
against Jigme Gyatso have been dismissed. He was told by the
authorities that he will stay under observance and his probation will
last one year," the film makers said in a statement seen on Sunday.

"The interrogators beat him continuously and hanged him by his feet
from the ceiling for hours and kept him tied for days on the
interrogation chair. During the interrogations he fainted several
times due to the beatings," they said.

"After May 12, when the region was shaken by strong earthquakes,
beatings stopped and after August 11 there was a noticeable
improvement," they said.

Dhondup Wangchen is still in detention, and there is no news about
his pending trial, the statement said.

The film features a series of interviews with Tibetans talking about
how their culture had been trampled on, how they still loved exiled
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and how they viewed the Olympics as
having done little to improve their lives.

China has accused followers of the Dalai Lama of stirring riots and
protests in Tibetan regions in March in a bid to upstage Olympic
preparations. The Dalai Lama has denied the claim and said he did not
oppose the Games.

China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since marching troops into
the remote, mountainous region in 1950.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 after an abortive uprising
against Chinese rule. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)
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