Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds torture and human rights abuses among Tibetan refugees

11.11.2005


Torture impacts mental health of Tibetan refugees



The incidence of mental illness and torture amongst Tibetan refugees is much higher than previously expected, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC International Health and Human Rights. Researchers say that NGOs and foreign governments should be aware that the human rights abuses levied on this vulnerable population may have lasting health effects and are unacceptable under international law.

Many Tibetan refugees flee Tibet to Nepal or India in order to escape religious and political oppression, following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950. In current Tibet, ethnic Tibetans are forbidden to worship their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, or to speak out on political issues. Such actions can result in criminal prosecutions. Accessing accurate information on the status of human rights in Tibet is difficult due to state censorship, but researchers from North America and Europe have conducted systematic evaluations of torture, imprisonment and major human rights violations and examined their impact on mental health amongst refugees who successfully escaped to Nepal and India.


Edward Mills, from McMaster University in Canada, and colleagues from Wake Forest University and Emory University in USA and universities of Toronto, York and Manitoba in Canada, found that the prevalence of reported human rights violations was extremely high within the refugee population and likely corresponds to their increased incidence of mental health illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Mills and colleagues had previously conducted research in Nepal with recent Tibetan refugees and found reported incidences of child imprisonment, torture, rape and executions. Their current study evaluated all published reports on mental health outcomes within the Tibetan population. All included studies had been conducted on Tibetan refugees that had successfully escaped Tibet, a combined analysis of 410 refugees. Their study reveals that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder, a disorder causing recurrent nightmares, crying, and numbness was as high as 23 per cent of all refugees. Anxiety disorder ranged from 25-77 per cent of the refugee population, and major depression was as high as 57per cent of all refugees.

The researchers also found that the reported incidence of torture and human rights violations were unacceptably high. The most common torture techniques across both groups were beatings, electrical torture, being forced to provide blood, and being imprisoned. In addition to torture, both groups reported traumatic events that may affect mental health. These included sleep deprivation, witnessing murder, kidnapping of family and friends, and the destruction of religious symbols including monasteries. One report examined children and found that children had also reported torture and major human rights violations.

This study provides reliable evidence that human rights violations within Tibet are unacceptably high and are impacting on the mental health of refugees. The researchers stress that "non-governmental organizations and foreign nations dealing with China should be putting human rights at the forefront of negotiations. As countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK work towards building trade relations with China, it cannot be at the expense of human rights. These studies demonstrate the lasting impact of unacceptable abuses." Clinicians and the public dealing with Tibetan refugees should be aware of the abuses many have been through.

Edward Mills | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>