TCHRD Statements

Today is the 23rd birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, one of the most important spiritual leaders of Tibet, who disappeared into the custody of the Chinese government 17 years ago.

On 14 May 1995, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama announced the then six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the incarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. Three days later, on 17 May 1995, the Chinese government secretly abducted the six-year-old boy and his parents who remain ‘disappeared’ to this day. There is no confirmed information on their well-being or if they are still alive.

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Today is the 63rd anniversary of the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), commonly celebrated as Human Rights Day all over the world. On this occasion, we remember and pay tribute to all human rights defenders – from Tibet to Tunisia – who symbolizes, in word and deed, the universality of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR.

The year 2011 witnessed unprecedented scale and influence of grassroots resistance movements against repressive dictatorial regimes. Ordinary people, like the Tunisian vegetable seller and a 21-yr-old Tibetan monk, asserted their rights in protest. The Tibetan monk, Phuntsog, died after self-immolation as Beijing, testifying to its egregious human rights record, reacted with force and violence that have caused 12 immolations this year in Tibet.

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Today, 10 December 2010, is the 62nd anniversary of proclamation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also a moment to celebrate the occasion of Mr.Liu Xiaobo receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The Tibetan people stand together with the millions of Chinese people in the struggle for human rights and freedom in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). With enormous economic advancement in the past three decades, it is about time for genuine civil and political reforms to be introduced in the PRC.China despite being a member of the UN Security Council and a signatory to the UN Charter continues to be one of the leading countries in the world in the violation of human rights particularly in restive regions like Tibet and east Turkestan. The government of China continues to “strike hard” against peaceful protesters and freedom of expression is severely curtailed in China today. Peaceful protesters are imprisoned without fair trail and often many are disappeared by the state and its agencies. 

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The United Nations has designated 26 June as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture and today marks the 13th anniversary of the day.Attaching importance to this anniversary, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) commemorates the day to stand in solidarity with the victims of torture and recognize the pain and suffering of victims and survivors of torture throughout the world. The day reminds us that torture is a crime and provides us with an opportunity to stand united and voice our opinion against torture, a cruel violation of human rights and human dignity.

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984, the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) entered into force on 26 June 1987. It was an important step in the much-needed process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture, and all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, are absolutely and universally illegal and should not be condoned. There can be zero tolerance for torture. In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated 26 June each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Convention obliges States to make torture a crime and to prosecute and punish those guilty of it. It notes explicitly that neither higher orders nor exceptional circumstances can justify torture.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) commemorates the 12th anniversary of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to recognise the pain and suffering that victims and survivors of torture throughout the world has gone through. The day reminds us that torture is a crime and provides us with an opportunity to stand united and voice our opinion against torture, a cruel violation of human rights. International law states that torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment can never be justified under any circumstances.

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984, the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) entered into force on 26 June 1987. It was an important step in the much-needed process of globalising human rights and acknowledging that torture, and all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, are absolutely and universally illegal and should not be condoned. There can be zero tolerance for torture. In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated 26 June each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Convention obliges States to make torture a crime and to prosecute and punish those guilty of it. It notes explicitly that neither higher orders nor exceptional circumstances can justify torture. 

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Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) condemns in strongest terms the framing of Tulku Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche on weapon charges related to last year’s peaceful protests in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi). This is the first known case of senior Buddhist leader being tried in court with a serious charge linked to last year’s demonstration.

A highly revered religious figure of Kardze, Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, 52, who headed Pangri and Ya-tseg Nunneries in Kardze was accused of ‘illegally possessing weapons’, his Beijing based lawyer Li Fangping was quoted as saying to the Associated Press (AP) in a telephone interview on Tuesday. Rinpoche could face imprisonment for up to 15 years if found guilty by the Kardze Prefecture Intermediate People’s Court. 

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) condemns in strongest terms the framing of Tulku Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche on weapon charges related to last year’s peaceful protests in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi). This is the first known case of senior Buddhist leader being tried in court with a serious charge linked to last year’s demonstration.

A highly revered religious figure of Kardze, Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, 52, who headed Pangri and Ya-tseg Nunneries in Kardze was accused of ‘illegally possessing weapons’, his Beijing based lawyer Li Fangping was quoted as saying to the Associated Press (AP) in a telephone interview on Tuesday. Rinpoche could face imprisonment for up to 15 years if found guilty by the Kardze Prefecture Intermediate People’s Court.

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Jigme Gyatso, a 48-year-old Tibetan political prisoner from Amdo Kersul, who is serving 17 years’ prison sentence is learnt to be seriously ill following years of torture and ill-treatment in the prison since 1996, according to information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) from reliable sources.

The Centre expresses its deepest concern at the continued imprisonment of seriously ill Jigme Gyatso and urges the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to order his immediate release on compassionate health grounds. Jigme Gyatso is currently serving his sentence in Chushul Prison (Ch: Quhui), on the outskirt of Lhasa city.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses its utter disappointment over the de facto expulsion of TCHRD from the United Nations Review Conference on Racism (DRC) being held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20 -24 April 2009. The Centre is appalled by the decision of its non-accreditation to the DRC by the preparatory committee on procedural ground. TCHRD is one of the several non-governmental organisations whose accreditation was overstepped upon by the preparatory committee due to a procedural matter on 17 April 2009. Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) objected to the Centre’s accreditation. The TCHRD believes that objecting to participation of recognized and registered NGOs like TCHRD to the DRC, with the politicization of the process, is a highly discriminatory move by the government of the PRC.

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The Olympic torch relay will travel to the heavily guarded Tibetan capital, Lhasa, on 21 June after the three-day tour that was initially planned was cut to one day. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) remains highly concerned about the level of restriction imposed on the Tibetan people’s fundamental freedoms in the months that have followed in the wake of the March protests.

Since the beginning of June this year, several thousand of the People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) forces were redeployed into main market squares, streets, major monasteries and road junctions around Lhasa city to check and respond to any untoward incidents during the Olympic torch relay, which is scheduled to travel from Norbulingka to Potala Palace square tomorrow. According to an official Chinese government website, the 11-km relay will start from Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and end at the Potala Palace, but it has not mentioned the timing of the torch relay. An official internal circular had been sent to Chinese government departments ordering their heads to discourage their own employees, as well as the common citizens, from taking part in any political activities during the torch relay.

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