A Generation in Peril: The Lives of Tibetan Children Under Chinese Rule
V. Journeys Into Exile

C. Harassment and Abuses by Authorities

Apart from natural hazards, children reported widespread abuses by Chinese officials and Nepalese border police. Most said they traveled only at night to avoid detection by Chinese spies, whom they believed were everywhere in the villages. Nonetheless, many were caught, detained and interrogated on one or more occasions before reaching Nepal safely. One girl attempted to cross the border by having a guide blacken her face and dress her in Nepalese clothing. Chinese soldiers discovered the disguise, however, and imprisoned her in an army camp for seventeen days, where they tortured her with electric shocks and poured cold water on her face.

Many children also reported being apprehended by Nepalese police or border patrols on their arrival. While most guards did not forcibly repatriate them, they typically demanded bribes, stole the children's few possessions or physically abused them prior to allowing them to travel to the Refugee Reception Centre in Kathmandu. For instance, after Nepalese police captured her family and guide, one girl said, they beat the guide and forced each family member to give them 100 yuan as a bribe. Another girl said that, when Nepalese authorities threatened her with repatriation, her guide had to expend 500 of the 2,000 Chinese yuan that her grandfather had paid for her travel to bribe the officials. In the past few years, TIN has also reported several incidents in which Tibetan girls were raped by Nepalese and Chinese border police.

D. Health Problems Resulting From the Journey -->