The Anguish of Tibet
Edited by Petra K. Kelly, Gert Bastian, and Pat Aiello.
Parallax Press: Berkeley, 1991.
382 pp. $17.00.

Tibet may be in vogue in this International Year of Tibet, but the iron yoke of Chinese oppression continues unimpeded by world opinion. Despite the fact that the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, Tibet continues to be occupied by China and isolated from the global community. In fact, the Chinese government continues to dismiss its flagrant abuses of human rights in Tibet as a purely “domestic affair. “

The Anguish of Tibet is a frontal assault on the status quo and challenges the hands-off policy of the West based on an economic desire to keep the door open to a vast Chinese market. Editors Gert Bastian and Petra Kelly of the German Green Party and Pat Aiello of the International Campaign for Tibet have compiled the most com­prehensive chronicle to date of China’s religious, cultural, and environmental desecration of Tibet. “Human rights are indivisible. Whenever, wherever, and by whomever they are violated, public condemnation by everyone with a voice to raise must be the reaction. Silence is a betrayal of those who are suffering. The aim of this book is to end this disgraceful silence,” Kelly and Bastian declare in their introduction.

Kelly has been hammering away for the past decade at the “great brick wall around the Tibetan issue” erected by German government and business interests. That official silence was broken in October of 1987 when the West German parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning China’s human rights violations in Tibet after Chinese troops fired on crowds of peaceful demonstrators in Lhasa.

In April of 1989 the Greens organized a landmark international hearing on Tibet and human rights in Bonn. The editors have included compelling testimony of Tibetan refugees at the Bonn hearing. In her “Report from a Chinese Prison Camp” Mrs. Adhi, who spent twenty­-eight of her fifty-six years in Chinese prison camps, gives a harrowing account of daily torture, shootings, forced labor, and starvation. Interviews with Tibetans in northern India who escaped from Chinese prisons following the riots of 1987 gave testimony of beatings, electric shock with cattle prods, and hanging by the extremities.

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