Updated: UN hunger striker hospitalized by order of NYPD but continues strike
As we reported to you earlier, three Tibetans have been camped out front of the United Nations building in New York since February 22 on a hunger strike — an effort to raise awareness for the Tibetan plight in China. On the 27th day of the hunger strike, one of the strikers was forced into hospitalization by the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Dorjee Gyalpo, the oldest of the three, had an ambulance called in for him by the NYPD at around 5:30 p.m. because he was having difficulty standing. This seems to have been an action taken against his will, with some twenty supporters blocking the ambulance’s entrance on the scene. Dorjee Gyalpo has stated that he will continue his hunger strike in the hospital, saying he will not eating there.
Photo via Tibet Post International
In related news, here is video of Richard Gere’s visit to the UN site with the three hunger strikers from earlier this month:
According to Voice of America (VOA), Dorjee Gyalpo is continuing to not eat but is receiving intravenous fluids while in the hospital. Dr. Allen Keller, who has been monitoring the protesters, says that all three men are entering a dangerous stage of their protest, and that it’s only water that is sustaining them at this point.
Despite being hospitalized, however, Gyalpo intends to see his hunger strike through if the protesters demands are not met. Speaking to VOA on Friday, he said:
“China wants to wipe out the whole Tibetan nation and the Tibetan people. But they will never succeed. It is like a tree, China has been cutting branches, but they can never destroy the roots, so the Tibetan people will never give up.”
All three protesters have been evaluated for mental competency by Dr. Asher Aladjem, a psychiatrist. Dr. Aladjem says the men are psychologically fit and that each fully understands the risks involved.