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Palden Gyatso

Palden Gyatso is a Tibetan Buddhist monk and former prisoner of conscience who has spent 33 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps. Born in the Tibetan village of Panam in 1933, Gyatso was ordained as a Buddhist monk during the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Gyatso was arrested in 1959 by Chinese authorities and incarcerated for peacefully demonstrating against the invasion. He was forced to participate in “re-education” classes, starved, endured hard labor, and was brutally tortured. Released from prison in 1992, Gyatso fled to India and brought with him some of the instruments of torture used against him as proof of the abuses of the Chinese regime. Gyatso has dedicated his life to raising awareness about the plight of the Tibetan people. He has testified before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress. His memoir, “The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk,” was published in 1997. He is the subject of the 2008 film “Fire Under the Snow.” Today, at the age of 84, Gyatso continues to conduct international speaking tours and personal meetings with Tibetan rights activists.

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