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 | EurekAlert!
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