The day of the launch is important: 14 March 2016 marks the eighth anniversary of the protests on 14 March 2008 that led to the 2008 uprising in Tibet. The subsequent crackdown that saw the detention, disappearance, torture, imprisonment and death of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans has not stopped. Repressive policies that caused the 2008 uprising have been intensified and expanded to all Tibetan areas like never before, and Tibetans continue to get persecuted and criminalized for exercising the most basic freedoms and rights that many take for granted in a free and democratic society.
TCHRD’s online resource will provide timely, accurate and reliable information on the state of Tibetan political prisoners. In this initial offering based on TCHRD’s Political Prisoners Database (PPDB), we present a brief overview on political prisoners, the latest prisoner statistics, profiles of 29 known detainees who died in detention, and brief profiles on self-immolation protesters. The PPDB published in TCHRD’s annual reports is now available for access online; visitors can export the whole data in excel, pdf and csv format. Another section contains brief profiles on more than 90 political prisoners serving death sentence, suspended death sentence, life sentence, and those sentenced between 5 and 10 years. Other useful resources include Chinese and international legal provisions on prisoner rights, access to justice, criminal justice system, and related human rights protection mechanisms.
“This online resource on Tibetan political prisoners is just the beginning of our overall plan. In 2016, we will be focusing a lot more of our resources and time on professionalizing and upgrading the PPDB; provide regular updates on political prisoners; and use every opportunity available to further the cause of Tibetan political prisoners,” said TCHRD’s Research Associate Mr Tenzin Namdak.
In November 2015, at its fifth periodic review before the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), the People’s Republic of China again claimed that the PRC has no political prisoners and that allegations of torture and ill treatment of Tibetans are ‘groundless’.
TCHRD believes that the launch of the online resource on political prisoners will go a long way in acknowledging and honouring those silenced behind bars for peacefully exercising their human rights. Each story of a Tibetan political prisoner will lay bare the PRC’s contention that those imprisoned for exercising their human rights are ’criminals’ and not ‘political prisoners’.
To access the online resource, click on the ‘Political Prisoners’ menu on our homepage.