Gyaltsen Drolkar: Firstly I would like to say Tashi Delek to you. My name is Gyaltsen Drolkar and I am from a nomad family in Tibet.
In 1990 myself and 12 of my colleagues protested in the Norbulingka in Lhasa, shouting slogans such as "independence for Tibet" and "long live His Holiness". During the protest we had no weapons or such instruments on us, only our hands. We protested for about five minutes.
As a result of the protest we were detained and all suffered beatings. All sorts of instruments and methods were used for beating us, including electric prods. In my own case I was tied to a tree with my hands tied behind my back. When I cried out in pain the beatings would get even more severe as a consequence. Sometimes during the beatings I would go through stages where I would lose consciousness for 10 or 15 minutes. The beatings and interrogations would sometimes last for 3 or 4 hours.
After the detention a sentence of four years was passed on me and I was transferred to Drapchi Prison. In Drapchi the life for prisoners was as my friend (Namdrol) already described so I won't relate my similar experiences.
In 1993 I took part in the protest songs and as a result I had my prison sentence extended by eight years. I was also involved in the incidents in 1998 as my friend related before. However, during the 1998 incident, I was taken to a room, the windows and doors were locked, I was beaten by five prison guards and I was struck on the head with a belt buckle. As a consequence of that beating and the blows to my head with the belt buckle I still have not fully recovered my physical well-being. My body turned blue with the bruising from that beating and even after 6 or 7 years my body has still not been able to fully recover.
Whilst I was sustaining these beating and because of the conditions I was living in the prison I never for one moment thought that I would be able to leave the prison alive. But I have and now I am free.