The Sakharov Prize For Ngawang Sangdrol



Ngawang Sangdrol, the Tibetan nun detained since 1992 in Drapchi prison, is now serving the longest sentence of all the political prisoners in Tibet.

She was arrested for the first time when she was thirteen years old, for having defended the right of her people to freedom from the Communist occupation and oppression of her country. 

Now, at the age of twenty-four, she has already experienced torture, beatings and solitary confinement in sector 3, the wing reserved for political prisoners. 

She will not be released before 2013. Or later if the Chinese Communist authorities decide to further extend her sentence, as they have done already several times. 

In a cassette which she managed to smuggle out of the prison, she and her fellow inmates sing:

" We friends and prisoners
We will look for joy [the Dalai Lama]
It doesn't matter if we are beaten
/ Our arms cannot be separated
The eastern cloud is not fixed on the horizon,
The time will come for the sun to appear. " 

For having sung, recorded, and smuggled out this song, she was sentenced to three extra years in prison.

In a letter of 15 August 1997, in response to her family who had asked her not to create trouble for herself, she wrote: 
" I regret nothing about my present situation (...). I miss you terribly, my brothers and sisters, but it is unlikely that we will meet again until the sun rises on the Land of Snow [until Tibet is liberated]."

For her courage and determination, she has been awarded the Prize of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC). 

Ngawang Sangdrol now embodies the strength and the hope of the nonviolent struggle for the freedom of the Tibetan people from the oppression of the People's Republic of China.