Palden Gyatso was born in 1933 and raised in a small Tibetan village. At the age of eighteen he became an ordained Buddhist Monk at one of Tibet's most famous monasteries, Drepung Monastery. Palden was arrested in 1959 after taking part in a non-violent demonstration for Tibetan independence. After a failed escape bid he was starved and tortured. Following his release in 1992, after 33 years of captivity, he fled to India and began to reveal the true extent of the Chinese oppression in Tibet. The Venerable Palden Gyatso now lives in Dharamsala in India. Since his escape from Chinese-occupied Tibet in 1992, he has travelled widely in Europe and the USA with Amnesty and other support organisations. In 1995 he testified at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Palden's autobiography, Fire Under the Snow: True Story of a Tibetan Monk, was published in 1997.