Tag: Featured

Dugkar arrested by police [Photo: Hongyuan county government]
Chinese authorities have sentenced 21 Tibetans to prison in connection with the nationwide campaign to eliminate criminal activities related to ‘black and evil forces’ in Shordha town in Nangchen (Ch:Nangqin) County, Kyegudo (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, in the Tibetan province of Kham. Two of the sentenced are former heads of their respective villages.

In May this year, the Nangchen County People’s Court sentenced the 21 Tibetans in two groups. The first group of 11 Tibetans from Do Thrang village in Shordha town were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to six years and monetary fines from 10000 to 50000 yuan.

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Tibetan nomads protest mining at sacred Gong Ngon Lari mountain in in Amchok, Tibet, 2016.

Last month, Chinese authorities announced the acceleration of the ‘pairing assistance’ program as part its overall goal to end poverty in Ba (Ch: Tongde) County (also called Ba Dzong in common Tibetan parlance) in Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. The ‘pairing assistance’ program is a nation-wide initiative of dispatching party members and local cadres to gather information on rural residents and adopt preventative measures to combat sensitive political issues from gaining traction among the masses.

The program is, for all practical purposes, a means to monitor and control the thoughts and activities of local Tibetans in the name of poverty alleviation. It requires party members and cadres to stay at the homes of local Tibetan nomads and farmers for weeks conducting political education sessions and gathering sensitive information. It has existed since 2012 alongside a host of other so-called ecological and poverty alleviation programs that are designed to facilitate mass surveillance and thought control.

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The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) has received a photo of Dorjee who died in 2012 after setting his body on fire to protest repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet.

The photo could not be shared earlier due to pervasive surveillance and criminalisation of self-immolation protests in Tibet. A number of Tibetans had been imprisoned for sharing news and images about self-immolation on the charges of ‘leaking state secrets’ or ‘maintaining illegal contacts with outsiders’.

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2018 has been a pivotal year for human rights in Tibet and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The introduction of new policies and regulations has led to an increased restriction on human rights and lives of the Tibetan people. This has resulted in the arbitrary detention and arrest of Tibetans, who have been exercising their rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of movement, religious and culture freedom and their right to an adequate standard of living, among others.

The introduction of a nationwide campaign in January 2018 to eliminate all forms of  ‘organised crime’ and ‘evil forces’ codified long-standing instances of human rights violations in Tibet. Although a campaign of this nature is not new in Tibet, the scope of the activities it publicly criminalises is unprecedented, as it covers activities related to social welfare and Tibetan cultural practices, and other civil society initiatives to improve the lives of ordinary Tibetans. In reality, the so-called ‘war on organised crime’ is being waged to expand and strengthen the Chinese Communist Party influence and networks at lower-level jurisdictions and primarily in rural areas.  As seen in the past, the increased efforts to “strengthen political power at the grassroots level” have led to an unprecedented tightening of control and political repression in Tibetan areas, turning Tibet into a human rights black hole.

Tibetans are subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention with prolonged period of criminal detention, allowing Chinese officials to escalate their unlawful practices by means of violence and torture to obtain forced confessions. Tibetans face obstacles to have access to a fair trial, especially if the charges held against them are of a political nature. Indeed, very few got to exercise this right in formal proceedings.

Tibetans’ inability to travel within and outside of Tibet has been steadily growing. The numerous checkpoints and roadblocks, along with the barriers to obtaining a passport has made it near impossible for Tibetans to travel, with some experts noting that circumambulating around the Potala Palace in Lhasa is now more difficult than getting into an airport.

The right to freedom of religion and belief is targeted by the Party’s two-pronged policy on religion such as ‘adapting religion to socialism with Chinese characteristics’ and ‘sinicising Tibetan Buddhism’. This has led to the enforced enrollment of young Tibetan monks into Chinese government schools and the prevention of Tibetan language workshops to be held in local monastic institutions.

The presence of a healthy environment and an adequate standard of living continue to decline rapidly as Tibetans have been unable to influence policy decisions to diminish the effects of river pollution, grassland degradation and desertification, land tenure security, among others.

The 2018 annual report highlights the continued human rights violations that occur in Tibet on a daily basis, without intervention from the international community. To read the full extent of the PRC’s impact on the Tibetan people in 2018, click on the link.

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 2018年1月开展全国范围的运动,以消除一切形式的“有组织犯罪”和“黑恶势力”—-扫黑除恶专项斗争,成为西藏侵犯人权行为的长期存在。虽然这种性质的运动在西藏并不新鲜,但它公开宣传的打击范围前所未有,因为它涵盖了与社会福利和西藏文化习俗有关的活动,以及其他改善普通藏人生活的民间社会倡议。实际上,正在进行所谓的“扫黑除恶专项斗争”,以扩大和加强中国共产党在较低级别司法管辖区和主要是农牧区的影响力和网络。 从过去看,“加强基层政权”的努力,导致西藏地区前所未有的控制和政治压制,使西藏成为人权黑洞。

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By Ngawang Choephel Drakmargyapon*

“If I die, I think two to three years, I think the Chinese may choose even one Dalai Lama. But Tibetans (will) not accept that. The Panchen Lama which they choose, some Chinese officials also they describe as ‘Fake Panchen Lama’.”

                                              ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama, TIME Magazine, 7 March 2019

This report is an account of the largely unknown attempts made to ascertain the whereabouts, the well-being and the fate of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Eleventh Panchen Lama of Tibet at the United Nations.[1] It attempts to provide a comprehensive narrative on the efforts by the international community over the past more than two decades to determine the fate of the Panchen Lama by particularly highlighting how the mechanisms of the UN human rights system have played a crucial role to help the Tibetans, followers of Tibetan Buddhism, supporters of Tibet and others by initiating interventions on the case directly with the Chinese authorities.

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognised on 14 May 1995 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a ceremony in Dharamsala, India. His Holiness declared: “Today is the auspicious day when the Buddha first gave the Kalachakra teaching. The Kalachakra teachings have a special connection with the Panchen Lamas. On this occasion, which also happens to be the Vaisaki, it is with great joy that I am able to proclaim the reincarnation of Panchen Rinpoche. I have recognized Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, born on April 25, 1989, whose father is Kunchok Phuntsog, and mother Dechen Chodon, of Lhari district in Nagchu, Tibet, as the true reincarnation of Panchen Lama.”

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    Earlier this week, a Chinese court sentenced nine Tibetans from three to seven years in prison in Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County, Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. The nine Tibetans  from Horgyal village namely Gendun Soepa, Choesang, Bhende Dorje, Tashi Tsering, Sonam Gyal, Dhargye, Shawo Tsering, Khajam Gyal, and Dukbum…

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses deep concerns over the condition and whereabouts of a former political prisoner and his wife who had been secretly sentenced to 18 years and two years respectively in Sog (Ch: Suo) County, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, the Tibetan province of Kham. Information received by TCHRD indicates that…

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2019 marks the 19th anniversary of International Mother Language Day observed annually on 21 February all over the world to highlight the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity for sustainable societies. First proclaimed by the UNESCO in 1999, the date represents the killing of students protesting for their mother tongue to be recognised as one of the national languages in…

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In arbitrary detention for over three years for advocating Tibetan language education, Tashi Wangchuk continues to maintain his innocence and seeks to appeal against his five-year conviction on trumped up charges of ‘inciting separatism’.

According to an update published by Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk’s lawyer Lin Qilei was not allowed to meet with his client on 15 January during a visit to Dongchuang Prison in Xining, Qinghai Province. Lin had sought the meeting to discuss details of Tashi Wangchuk’s appeal notice. After being made to wait for an hour, prison authorities told Lin that since the case was ‘sensitive’, approval was required from the provincial Political and Legal Committee.

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A-nya Sengdra in an undated picture

Hundreds of Tibetans have submitted three known petitions calling for the immediate release of a local anti-corruption activist who has been in Chinese police custody since September last year.

Mr A-nya Sengdra, 47, was beaten up and detained by Gade (Ch: Gande) County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers on 4 September from a highway intersection in Golok (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

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