Thupten Khetsun is now 70 years old, but in 1959 at least five of his family members, including himself, were arrested. While his mother was subject to political "reeducation" outside of confinment, Khetsun was placed into Drapchi prison for two years. He and other political prisoners were required to either break open large stones or make bricks while only sustaining on barley soup. "While I was at Drapchi prison, huge loads of clothes of dead prisoners from Chang Tsa-la-Kha were delivered. There were enough winter jackets in there for half the prisoners of Drapchi. I believe that the tortures and sufferings Tibetan political prisoners faced under China are comparable to those of Jews under Nazi Germany."
Since 2001, there have been 38 self-immolation by Tibetans as a direct protest to the authoritarian rule of the People's Republic of China. The Laogai Foundation is an organization dedicated to gaining justice for these prisoners and spreading human rights around this part of the world. They work through research and documentation to gain evidence against not only the Laogai prison system, but China's one-child policy and unauthorized organ harvesting as well. Visit their website or the Laogai Museum in Washington, D.C. to learn more about this issue and what you can do to support these survivors and how to join their fight in eradicating human rights violations in China.