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CHINA PRISONS
LHASA [means Holy Place] China
Prison Information
Drapchi Prison

Located in the north-east outskirts of Lhasa City, Drapchi Prison is the largest prisons in Tibet which holds prisoners sentenced through the judicial system that technically involves investigation, arrest, procuratorial investigation and court verdict. The name ‘Drapchi’ is derived from Drapchi Monastery, which is located just a mere stone throw away from the prison gate. Regarded as a major centre of torture and ill treatment, countless prisoners have lost their lives at the hands of official maltreatment.

Although the Chinese authorities claim that only male prisoner with sentences longer than five years are incarcerated in Drapchi Prison, there is ample evidence that there are actually many male inmates there with shorter sentences. All religious and every judicially sentenced female political prisoner, regardless of length of term, also serve out their sentence in Drapchi. In the late 1990’s, according to Chinese figures, consistently 75 percent of prisoners were of Tibetan nationality.

Notes based on information received August 2002 ("Detention Area" = "Tsonkhul"; new designations reportedly went into effect around August of 2000)

1. Area 7 (male political; formerly "old rukhag 5")
2. Area 8 (male political; formerly "new rukhag 5)
3. Area 9 (male; opened in 2000; used for all newly arriving prisoners and for punishment)
4. Male work shops (now two-story, incl. carpet making)
5. Areas 4 and 6 (mostly ordinary male criminals)
6. Areas 1 and 2 (mostly ordinary male criminals)
7. Two new cell blocks now built in this area
8. Prison hospital
9. Staff quarters built in this area
10. New facility built in this area for prisoner visits
11. Classroom building
12. Courtyard (site of May 1998 demonstrations)
13. Area 3 (female political, formerly "old rukhag 3")
14. Area 3 (female political, formerly "new rukhag 3")

Prisoners

Nun's Songs

The View from Drapchi Prison

The view from Drapchi
I can only see the sky above
The clouds that form in the sky
I wish were my parents
We the imprisoned friends
Are the flowers in the jewel city
Neither hailstorm nor frost
Can part our united hands
The white cloud from the east
Is not a patch that is sewn
One day the sun
Will emerge from behind the clouds
Do not feel sad
Why should one be sad?
Even if the sun sets
The light of the moon will shine
Even if the sun sets
The light of the moon will shine

Appeal by Foreign Prisoner Support Services
< P> PO Box 5401
West End. Qld
Australia 4101

3 September 2003

Ambassador Wu Tao

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
The People's Republic of China to Australia
15 Coronation Drive Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Canberra Australia

Your Excellency,

We trust this letter finds you in the very best of health and we appreciate that your time is most valuable.

We would like to respectfully appeal on behalf of the Buddhist nun Phuntsog Nyidrol aged 20 years, who we believe was jailed in 1989 for a non-violent protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

We understand her nine-year sentence was extended by another eight years after she and 13 other nuns were found guilty of secretly recording Tibetan freedom songs and poems.

Whilst we have no desire to interfere with the politics of China, we humbly express our concerns for her continued well-being. We appeal to your compassionate nature and influence to call on authorities of Drapchai Prison to ensure her care is properly administered and that of her companions and other political prisoners of Drapchai Prison, in the interest of preserving human dignity.

We express our sincerest concerns at reports raised by Amnesty International about torture, ill-treatment and deaths in custody in Drapchai Prison.

We trust that your department may investigate these allegations to ensure the preservation of human dignity and human rights.

Most respectfully,

Members of Foreign Prisoner Support Services
Queensland [Australia]

LAOGAI PRISON
LAOGAI The lao gai, or labour camps, still a brutal, hidden scar on the Chinese landscape? They have a terrible history of abuse and death.
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    All information is © Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff