The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) calls for an independent investigation into the death of the young Tibetan monk Tenzin Nyima who died after being beaten in custody, as reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The 19-year old monk passed away immediately after being released from prison, HRW said on January 21, 2021. Authorities initially detained him on November 9, 2019, two days after he and three other monks from a local monastery in Wonpo, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, briefly distributed leaflets and shouted slogans calling for Tibetan independence outside the local Wonpo government office. The protests occurred as local officials increasingly put pressure on forcibly resettled nomads and local residents to publicly praise the government’s “Poverty Alleviation” program.

The death of Tenzin Nyima (also known as Tamey) is part of a pattern of torture and mistreatment in Tibet. In May 2020, the Tibetan monk Choekyi died after torture in custody. In August 2020, the 36-year old mother of three Lhamo died in custody after apparent beatings. In 2015, ICT documented the cases of 29 Tibetans who suffered torture and mistreatment while in custody, many of whom died as a result of their ordeals. As in the case of Tenzin Nyima, the authorities had chosen to release severely tortured detainees who then passed away days or weeks later. In 2015, the Committee Against Torture concluded in its review of China that “the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system.”

The International Campaign for Tibet urgently calls for the establishment of an independent United Nations monitor on the human rights situation in the PRC, in particular in Tibet, as called for in an unprecedented statement of UN human rights experts in June 2020.

ICT Interim President Bhuchung Tsering said: “Those responsible in the Chinese state and party apparatus must be held accountable for the pattern of torture and mistreatment of Tibetans. Tibetans need justice and torture must stop in Tibet. The international community has an obligation to act.”