BEIJING (Reuters) - A Tibetan monk who was imprisoned after helping make a film about the Olympics and Tibet has been released but was severely tortured while in prison, according to the film makers.
Farmer Dhondup Wangchen and his monk friend Golog Jigme — also known as Jigme Gyatso — were detained shortly after finishing the film, called “Leaving Fear Behind”, but managed to smuggle tapes out of the country.
The film was shown to a small group of foreign reporters in secret in Beijing during the Olympics in August.
The two were arrested in March.
“It is not clear, according to information from Tibet, if all charges against Jigme Gyatso have been dismissed. He was told by the authorities that he will stay under observance and his probation will last one year,” the film makers said in a statement seen on Sunday.
“The interrogators beat him continuously and hanged him by his feet from the ceiling for hours and kept him tied for days on the interrogation chair. During the interrogations he fainted several times due to the beatings,” they said.
“After May 12, when the region was shaken by strong earthquakes, beatings stopped and after August 11 there was a noticeable improvement,” they said.
Dhondup Wangchen is still in detention, and there is no news about his pending trial, the statement said.
The film features a series of interviews with Tibetans talking about how their culture had been trampled on, how they still loved exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and how they viewed the Olympics as having done little to improve their lives.
China has accused followers of the Dalai Lama of stirring riots and protests in Tibetan regions in March in a bid to upstage Olympic preparations. The Dalai Lama has denied the claim and said he did not oppose the Games.
China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since marching troops into the remote, mountainous region in 1950.
The Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.