In 1950 China invaded Tibet and by 1951 China imposed a Seventeen Point Agreement on Tibet. It guaranteed Tibetans political, religious, and educational rights but Chinese control over foreign affairs and allowed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the territory. The Chinese imposed collectivization of agriculture and other communist measures, which resulted in gradual rebellion amongst the Tibetans. The Chinese then responded with violence and thousands of Tibetans were killed as well incarcerated. By 1959 the rebellion reached an uprising that caused the Dalai Lama to flee to India. Thousands of Tibetans were killed and many were sent to forced-labor camps with minimal food rations. An estimated 90,000 of Tibetans had died either by murder or from the harsh living conditions.
In 1966 the Chinese campaigned to destroy Tibet again in the Cultural Revolution. Tibetans were under extreme persecution and cultural destruction. People were tortured and killed, arrested and sent to prison, went to forced labor camps, and even religious and sites were ruined. After Mao Zedong died in 1976, the revolution passed. China's economy and society began to transform which made an impact on the Chinese policies towards Tibet. The Chinese and Tibetan leaders made efforts for advancement in Tibetan national and cultural rights.
Although China's policies were softening in the 1980s, there was still tension between China and Tibet. Tibetans continued to resist and in March of 1989 there was a massive anti-Chinese demonstration. The Chinese responded with roundups and torture. In 1994 China banned worship of the Dalai Lama, which led to even more frustration for Tibetans. In 2008 protests erupted once again; dozens of demonstrators died and Tibetans attacked the Chinese as well. The Dalai Lama's response to this was that whether it was intentional or not, China was imposing cultural genocide. Since the 1950's an estimated 1.2 million Tibetans have died at the hands of the Chinese.
Unfortunately in Tibet torture is still a common practice among political prisoners and other Tibetans. They are severely beaten to the point of broken bones and sometimes unconsciousness, stabbed, left without water or little food, etc. Prisoners are also left to sleep in hash living conditions in the freezing cold, without medical treatment, and even without access to toilets. As one of the released prisoners Golog Jigme states, the treatment is inhumane.
Tsering is a Tibetan torture survivor who was detained for trying to leave Tibet after visiting her sick father. Tsering's testimony is read by Juliet Stevenson to protect her identity. Upon being detained Tsering, a nun, was questioned and then beaten which caused her to lose normal hearing in one ear and now all she hears is a ringing sound. Any time of the day she was interrogated or tortured; they shocked her with electric batons and put her in solitary confinement for twenty-five days. Some days she was left without food or water. Unfortunately Tsering's testimony is just one of many; nuns, monks, and other religious figures in Tibet are targets for violence and persecution.