Update 15/3/2006: Phuntsok Nyidron arrives safely in the USA
Phuntsok Nyidron, a 35-year-old nun from Michungri nunnery, was born in 1968 in Phenpo. She was arrested on October 14, 1989 for participating in a peaceful demonstration at Norbulingka, Lhasa and sentence to 9 years. She was kicked and beaten during the arrest and later given electric shocks on the hands, shoulders, breasts, tongue and face. During interrogation, she was suspended for at least fifteen minutes from the ceiling by her hands, which were handcuffed behind her.
In October 8, 1993, she sang and recorded a pro-independence songs with 13 other nuns. As a result, she had her sentence increased by 8 years arbitrarily, without a proper trial. She is currently serving her 14-year imprisonment. It was reported that her health condition is critical due to harsh torture. She is one of the highest-profile female prisoners in Tibet, and now the longest-known serving female political prisoner of conscience in Tibet.
Phuntsok Nyidron is now due to be released in the year 2006 at the age of 38. By that time she will have spent 17 of her prime life in prison. Phuntsok Nyidron represents all the voiceless Tibetans in Tibet who want to shout for the support from the international community.
In 1995 Reebok International Human Rights Award accorded to imprisoned Tibetan nun Phuntsok Nyidron. Her courageous struggle for the right to be heard is representative of both Tibetan women’s united struggle for their fundamental human rights, and the fight of Tibetan people for a life of dignity and freedom.
Gender-specific human rights violations in occupied Tibet are growing in proportion to the number of women voicing dissent against the illegal occupation of our homeland. Women constitute a large proportion of those participating in peaceful, non-violent demonstrations and Tibetan Buddhist nuns continue to play an important role in the public face of protest.