TCHRD Statements

The year 2005 has been declared as the International Year of Gedhun Choekyi  Nyima the 11th Panchen Lama 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 the then six-years  old 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, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents disappeared and have never been seen again. China has signed the United  Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on 29 August 1990 and ratified  it on 2 March 1992. China’s detention of boy Panchen Lama is a clear violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as domestic and international Laws. 

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On 13 April 2005, State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has released a White Paper entitled China’s Progress in Human Rights in 2004. The White Paper highlights China’s human rights improvement in six main areas: People’s rights to Subsistence and Development, Civil and Political Rights, Judicial Guarantee for Human Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Equal Rights and Special Protection for Ethnic Minorities and the rights and interests of the disabled.

However, the findings and research of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) on China’s human rights record in Tibet stand in stark contrast to China’s claim of human rights progress in the White Paper. TCHRD record numerous human rights violations committed by the Chinese authorities in Tibet in 2004 and over the past many years. TCHRD, through its independent research and refugee testimonies, has gathered numerous information that reflects systematic and continued human rights violation of Tibetans right to political and civil liberties and socio-economic rights.

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Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) commemorates the seventh United Nations international day in support of victims of torture on 26 June 2004. The UN proclaimed day is in support and solidarity with those who have suffered from torture and undergone physical pain and mental trauma. The day also calls for the end of torture throughout the world.

Torture is a regular feature in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) despite the fact that the PRC ratified the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment in October 1988 and outlawed certain forms of torture in the revised Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, that came into effect in 1997. Systematic torture is still endemic in the Chinese administered prisons in Tibet. Torture is still being used for purposes of extracting confessions, to defeat Tibetan prisoners nationalist spirit, to intimidate prisoners and to cause humiliation and mental trauma that affect the prisoners for the rest of their lives.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) considers 2003 as the year of grave human rights violations in Tibet committed by authorities of People’s Republic of China (PRC). The information gathered by TCHRD gives clear picture of systematic and continued violation of Tibetan people’s right to civil liberties, religious freedom, and socio-economic rights.

On 30 March 2004, the Chinese State Council Information Office released a white paper titled “Progress in China’s Human Rights Cause in 2003”. The White Paper contained eight chapters: The people’s right to subsistence and development, civil and political rights, judicial guarantee for human rights, economic, social and cultural rights, the rights and interests of women and children, equal rights and special protection for ethnic minorities, the rights and interest of the disabled and international exchanges and co-operation in human rights. 

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As we commemorate the 55th Human Rights Day on 10 December, it is a day to reflect upon the situation of the world in the year gone by and resolve further to work towards a more peaceful and free world. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses grave concern and fear over China’s continued gross violation of human rights in Tibet.

On this day last year, TCHRD strongly condemned and expressed concern on China’s sentencing of a well-known Tibetan Buddhist teacher Trulku Tenzin Delek to death with two years suspension and his co-accused Lobsang Dhondup to immediate death on the ground of alleged involvement in “bomb explosions”. However, in complete disregard to international appeals, the Sichuan Higher People’s Court in Chengdu upheld the earlier verdict and executed Lobsang Dhondup on 26 January 2003. The event has left little doubt over the concern we shared last year of China’s attempts to use the global campaign against ‘terrorism’ to suppress the Tibetans’ peaceful political and religious expressions. It has also exposed China’s true intention despite the show of bonhomie with western governments when dealing with the issues of human rights.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) welcomes China’s signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on October 5 but expresses reservation at both China’s sincerity and the efficacy of this action in improving the human rights situation in Tibet and in China.

China’s decision to sign the ICCPR appears to be a response to persistent international pressure on the Chinese government to uphold international human rights standards, culminating in the recent visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mary Robinson, to China. “We are concerned that the signing of the ICCPR is another political manoeuvre by the Chinese government to deflect attention from its deteriorating human rights record,” said Lobsang Nyandak, Executive Director of TCHRD. The signing of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in October 1997 was similarly timed to coincide with the visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to the USA.

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