A large isolation center in Lhasa with hundreds of patients living together. Photo: file

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Lhasa, Tibet — Tibetans face a very difficult situation under China's "zero-Covid" policy, where they are forcibly removed from their homes and placed in so-called isolation centers, where they are given leftover and spoiled food and no one takes care of them, where some are beaten and tortured.

Cases of covid-19 are increasing in Tibet and China, but Chinese authorities in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, have been forcibly removing Tibetans from their homes and placing many of them in an isolation center, even though many have tested negative for covid-19 and Tibetans fear spreading covid-19 from other patients.

Due to China's "zero covid" policy, Tibetans suffer from harsh policy, violent beatings, separation from family members, lack of food in the isolation centers, and ignorance of Chinese officials in the isolation centers. Therefore, Tibetans and some of these victims have courageously shown and told the truth about the situation of covid-19 in Lhasa through videos and social media groups.

The Chinese government imposed a lockdown in Lhasa in early August 2022. It has been more than a month and it is continuing, therefore, Tibetans are having a difficult time. Tibetan netizens claim that the lockdown order was given without sufficient preparation time, leaving people short of food in their homes.

A Tibetan netizen said, "Look at the food in the isolation center, the food is spoiled (showing a video), it is sour, this kind of food is given in the center, (they) do not treat us like human beings, even though I do not want to take the video, but I am helpless, so, I send the video."

Another Tibetan netizen said, "They took us to an isolation center, but there are 800 people in the center, although the office should separate the patients and take care of them, but the officials left us there without doing anything for three days, they didn't come to check if everything was okay or give us food, we have to go and get food by ourselves."

"There are no special medicines and good food in the isolation center, and the officials do nothing for the patients, why do the officials take us to the center, if the center takes good care of the patients, of course, we are happy to stay here, but nothing special or even worse. If we were at home, we could cook for ourselves and eat what we want to recover from the disease,'' she complained, showing a video of others entering the center.

Another Tibetan netizen said: "Actually, I do not want to make a video on TikTok, but I cannot bear the true situation of the patients in the isolation center, if you (officials) cannot take care of the patients, please do not take them away from home, if you take them, treat them well with medicine and proper food, do not treat them like prisoners, even prisoners are not treated like that, when I saw the video about the situation in the center, I felt sorry for them. If you cannot give them good food, give them Tsampa, all Tibetans eat Tsampa, and even the Chinese can eat Tsampa. If you cannot take care of them, let them go home where they can eat Tsampa and other food, and even if they die, they will die at home, which is better than dying in the center.”

A young Tibetan netizen said, "I say a few words on behalf of many Tibetans, who can not tell the truth, please officials, listen to us, our food is finished, the money in hand is also finished, Tibetans on the streets face more difficult than us, they are afraid of the result after telling the truth. Many of us do not know where to ask for help, some help phone numbers do not answer."

A Tibetan patient made a complete video from the beginning, he or she came to the isolation center by bus, many people were with him, the patient showed all the conditions of the rooms, beds, toilets and how many patients lived together, the bathrooms were very small, the toilets were very dirty, there was dirty water all around one of the toilets. The beds were very small and simple, they had to live with ten patients, they didn't get any drinks or food all day, in the middle of the night, some patients couldn't stand the hunger and went to the officials to ask for food, the patients were beaten, one patient was injured in the knee, another in the ear, another in the eye, blood came out of the eyes because of the violent beating of the officials.

At the end of the video, he or she wrote: “If you were in Lhasa, if you were also treated unfairly by the epidemic, would you quietly admit it or would you take down your cell phone and fight to defend your rights, and if Lhasa continues like this and continues to hide false reports and falsifications, when will this third pole ( Tibet ) be cleaned and Tibet will be blue?.”

“The people in the courtyard have not been out of the gate for more than a month, yesterday dozens of people tested positive, and still did not take away! Officials report more than a hundred or two hundred asymptomatic infected people every day, but the actual situation is much more than this small point, people in Lhasa know it by heart,” another Tibetan wrote on a social media app.

"It was a shock! I saw 28 buses lined up neatly in front of the second senior high school in Lhasa, and the number is still increasing, 50 people in one bus, a total of nearly 1,400 positives and probably more, there are blind uncles, old people in wheelchairs, babies in swaddling clothes, from 9:30 pm on the bus to now 5 hours, still waiting, the gate is chaos, no order," a netizen wrote on social media app, September 15, 2022.

Two Tibetans were reportedly severely beaten by Chinese officials while delivering food to their nomadic family in Shigatse, Tibet, due to China's "zero covid" policy; one died as a result of the beatings and torture, and the other was severely injured.

According to some sources, Tibetans are also being arrested for posting videos or writing articles related to the covid-19 cases in Lhasa and Tibet.