In September a Romanian cameraman created an international outcry when he caught footage of a Chinese border guard casually opening fire on a group of unarmed Tibetans as they tried to flee the country. Although 41 members of this party managed to reach India, at least two were murdered (There is no other word for it); a further 32 were captured
Jaymang Samten, 15, claims to have been one of those captured. After capture he was initially interrogated over a three-day period during which he was repeatedly hit with an electric cattle prod. "It went on until I fainted," Samten told reporters, adding that police repeatedly asked him to identify the dead nun.
The group was then taken to a prison in Shigatse, Tibet's second-largest city. They were questioned again while chained to a wall, he said. "A guard wearing a metal glove would hit us in the stomach." Samten was then held in a labour camp there for 48 days and forced to dig ditches, build fences and work on fields. Once released, he paid guides to take him via Nepal to India.
The account could not be verified but echoes the stories of others who have made similar treks. Lobsang Gyaltsen, who managed to escape when Samten was captured, said he had been walking for 17 days when Chinese guards caught up with his group, who had eaten little and spent days struggling over ice and rock.
More than 4,000 Tibetans flee to Nepal each year across the border. Others don't make it.