From 1988 to 1997, more than 250 Buddhist nuns in Tibet1 staged political protests, in which they professed allegiance to the Dalai Lama and the desire for an independent Tibet. Following swift arrest, most were tortured, charged with inciting counter-revolutionary propaganda, then given sentences ranging from five to nine years, to be served at the main provincial penitentiary in Lhasa. This prison, commonly known as Drapchi after its location in the northern suburbs of Lhasa City, has held the bulk of Tibetan political prisoners since political protest erupted in its major post-Cultural Revolution phase during and after 1987. While imprisoned, the nuns and other inmates were compelled to participate in mass displays of patriotic support for China, as well as provide ‘correct’ responses to prison authorities during on-going political education sessions and subsequent evaluations. The continuing political demands were considered provocative and unbearable by the nuns: hunger strikes or demonstrations erupted occasionally in protest. Those held responsible for the protests faced fierce beatings and electric shock treatment at the least, and sometimes lengthy periods in solitary confinement or extensions of their sentences. The most serious such incident in the current period of unrest (since October 1987) occurred in May 1998, and resulted in the deaths of five nuns, months of solitary confinement for at least twenty, and sentence extensions for five of the nuns who had also been held in solitary.