TCHRD Statements

Lhasa, the capital city, in particular is still reeling under extremely tense situation at the moment since yesterday’s demonstration. Information from Tibet indicates Chinese authorities’ imposing curfew in the entire Lhasa city with entry into city completely cut-off by posting many new check posts at all the entry points into the City. All the roads and shops remain closed in the city with heavy presence of armored military vehicles and additional contingent of People’s Armed Police (PAP)- a paramilitary troops sent into the city to suppress people from demonstrating again. However, certain parts of Lhasa, especially Karma Kusang in the east and Nangdren Roads on the north side of Lhasa witnessed a pocket of protests this morning, according to confirmed information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

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On the occasion of the 59th International Human Rights Day today, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) salutes those around the world who struggle to defend, protect and promote the fundamental freedoms, the inherent dignity, and the equal and inalienable rights that are the birthright of all members of the human family. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was passed by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 and was proclaimed as the ‘common standard of achievement for all people and nations’ in respect of human rights. Despite taking years to formulate and decades of existence, the struggle to ensure just entitlement of the thirty rights and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR requires our attention today and everyday.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) deplores the government of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) new religious regulatory measures on the selection of reincarnates that come into force from today.

The China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) official issuance of 14-article measures on reincarnation which came into effect from today, clearly demonstrates the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC) adamant attempt to undermine and tarnish the centuries-old Tibetan tradition of religious practice. It also attempts to weaken the authority of legitimate Tibetan religious leaders including the Dalai Lama. The new measure bars any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation for himself or recognizing a “living Buddha” thus effectively ending the centuries-old Tibetan Buddhist practice.

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Two Tibetan women, O’dho and Apha Bhomo, both in their late 50’s and residents of Othok Village, Nyagchuka County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture “TAP” Sichuan Province, were arrested on 19 July 2007 by the Nyagchuka County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials on alleged ‘crime’ of instigating people to join their call for Trulku Tenzin Delek’s release, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). Both women are currently detained at Nyagchuka County PSB Detention Centre and authorities are known to have denied visitation right to their relatives. O’dho, a mother of nine children, was born in Sholong Township, Nyagchuka County, Kardze “TAP”, Sichuan Province. In addition, it was learnt that both O’dho’s sons, Kalsang Sungrab and Tenzin Tsoknyi were barred from attending their respective schools. Tenzin Tsoknyi who was studying at a private school in Lithang County was barred from attending the school and authorities even put restriction on their movement.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) received confirmed information from reliable sources that a commotion between the migrant Chinese Muslim traders and Tibetan youths on 27 June 2007 in Yagra neighborhood in Sog County, Nagchu Prefecture “TAR” and subsequent protest by Tibetans against the highhandedness of the traders has led to the arrest of around 30 Tibetans.

On 27 June 2007, a commotion between the migrant Chinese Muslim traders and Tibetan youths broke out in the Yagra neighborhood of Sog County while transacting medicinal plant caterpillar fungus (Tib: Yartsa Gunbu, Botanical name: cordyceps sinensis). According to sources, during the initial commotion two Tibetan youths were said to have been tied-up and beaten by a group of migrant Chinese Muslim traders of the area. After the incident hundreds of Tibetans gathered to protest against the treatment meted out to the two Tibetan youths. And the subsequent protest incident in Yagra neighborhood has led to the arrest of 30 Tibetans by the Chinese authorities.

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TCHRD commemorates the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

AS 26 JUNE 2007 marks the tenth anniversary of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) commemorates the day in support of victims of torture throughout the world.

Torture is one of the severest forms of human rights abuses, taking a terrible toll on millions of individuals and their families across the globe. In Chinese occupied Tibet, torture is endemic in the network of prisons and detention centres across the plateau. According to TCHRD documentation, the Chinese authorities’ systematic use of torture has resulted in the death of 89 known Tibetan political prisoners since 1987.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is happy to learn the release of Nyima Choedon, 38 years old, from Drapchi Prison. According to latest update from the U.S based Dui Hua Foundation, Nyima has been released on 26 February 2006. TCHRD has long campaigned for the release of Jigme Tenzin Nyima a.k.a Bangri Chogtrul Rinpoche and Nyima Chodon, a couple running an orphanage in Lhasa, who were wrongly charged for “splitist” activities and convicted in September 2000 to ten years prison term and life sentence respectively. Nyima received sentence reduction on few occasions where as Jigme received a year reduction and is likely to be released on 30 July 2021.

With the release of Nyima Choedon, TCHRD hopes that her husband Jigme Tenzin Nyima would also be released unconditionally soon. Jigme is currently serving his term at the newly operated Chushur Prison in Chushul (Chin: Qushui) County near Nyethang (Chin: Nidang), Lhasa, along a host of other long term serving Tibetan political prisoners. TCHRD requests the international community to maintain pressure on the government of People’s Republic of China to release all the Tibetan political prisoners. 

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Tomorrow-25 June 2006- is UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) commemorates the day in support of victims of torture throughout the world. TCHRD hopes that a day will dawn when the practice of torture will be completely eradicated and the abusers brought to justice.

In Chinese occupied Tibet, torture is endemic in the network of prisons on the plateau. The systematic practice of torture is aimed to breakdown the spirit of nationalism of the Tibetan people. Towards this end, rampant use of torture has resulted in the death of 88 known Tibetan political prisoners since 1987. According to TCHRD’s documentation there are currently 132 known Tibetan political prisoners languishing in various prisons in Tibet. Torture being a regular feature in the Chinese administered prisons, the Centre is highly concerned about the well being of the political prisoners upon whom the worst of torture is afflicted. Electric shocks, pricking cigarettes on the face, hand or thumb cuffs, feet manacles, suspension from ceiling, exposure to extreme temperature, long period of solitary confinement, deprivation of food, water and sleep, forced labour and forced exercise drills are few of the torture techniques employed by the authorities to defeat the nationalist spirit of the Tibetans.

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Today marks the 57th year since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed. Although many countries in the world today observe the principles set forth in the UDHR, regrettably China as a member of the UN Security Council and the international community, has failed to respect the principles set therein.

In March 2004, China made a historic amendment to its Constitution by adding the clause “The State respects and safeguards human rights”. However, the amendment fell short of details, leaving the interpretation of the term “human rights” open and ambiguous. After almost two years of the amendment, there are no explicit signs of respect for human rights and any improvement in the human rights situation in China and Tibet. In 2005, the human rights situation in Chinese occupied Tibet remains to be tense and grim. Throughout the year, the Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has received consistent reports of human rights concerns.

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Today marks the 57th year since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed. Although many countries in the world today observe the principles set forth in the UDHR, regrettably China as a member of the UN Security Council and the international community, has failed to respect the principles set therein.

In March 2004, China made a historic amendment to its Constitution by adding the clause “The State respects and safeguards human rights”. However, the amendment fell short of details, leaving the interpretation of the term “human rights” open and ambiguous. After almost two years of the amendment, there are no explicit signs of respect for human rights and any improvement in the human rights situation in China and Tibet. 

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The year 2005 is declared as the year of 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima of Tibet. He turns 16 on 25 April 2005. It is his tenth year in Chinese custody at an undisclosed location after he and his parents disappeared in 17 May 1995.

On 14 May 1995, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation of the Xth Panchen Lama. The government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) declared the announcement invalid and illegal. Three days later, the six-year-old boy and his parents disappeared and have never been seen again.  Chadrel Rinpoche is the former abbot of Tashi Lhunpo monastery, and Chairman of the Search Committee for the reincarnation of the 11th Panchen Lama. Chadrel Rinpoche and his assistant Champa Chungla disappeared from Chengdu Airport in Sichuan Province on May 14th 1995. On April 21st1997, the Shigatse Intermediate People’s court sentenced Chadrel Rinpoche to six years of imprisonment. He was charged with “plotting to split the country” and “leaking state secrets”. He was accused of working for and assisting the Dalai Lama in the search for the 11th Panchen Lama. Although his sentence ended on May 13th 2001 following the completion of a six-year prison term, it is believed that he is now kept under house arrest. There is no additional information on his exact whereabouts in Shigatse, or on his state of health. Jampa Chungla, 56-year-old former assistant of Chadrel Rinpoche, was arrested in 1995 for his participation in the search committee of the 11th Panchen Lama. He was sentenced to a four- year prison term and to a two-year deprivation of political rights. He continues to be held in custody even after the completion of his original four-year prison term.

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