Today on the “International Day in Support of Victims of Torture”, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy expresses our solidarity with all political prisoners around the world particularly Tibetan political prisoners and their relatives who have suffered and continue to suffer the brutal effects of excessive and inhumane torture and abuse perpetrated by the government of the People’s Republic of China.
Under international law, any act of torture is absolutely prohibited and can never be justified under any circumstances. In Tibet, torture is committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population and therefore amounts to a crime against humanity. Torture is also used as a pretext to silence and criminalise peaceful dissent and opposition against the Chinese party-state under the guise of overbroad and vague charges such as “endangering national security”, and “undermining national unity”, “inciting separatism”, and “disclosing state secrets”.
Under the rule of Chinese president Xi Jinping, Tibetan human rights defenders and activists continue to suffer inhumane torture merely for exercising basic human rights. In Xi Jinping’s so-called ‘New Era’, Tibetans are subjected to mass surveillance, forced cultural assimilation and “Sinicization” policies resulting in relentless attacks against Tibetan culture, religion and identity. Tibetans that are brave enough to oppose the Chinese party-state are almost always arbitrarily detained, incommunicado in undisclosed locations, tortured and ill-treated, with no access to legal representation, and forced to accept crimes they did not commit.
As party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the PRC government has obligations to take effective measures to prevent torture and prosecute torturers. The PRC must work with the international community to end all acts of torture; allow state visits by the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment; create an independent panel capable of investigating and punishing torture; and investigate all allegations of torture.
To honour and remember the victims and survivors of torture, TCHRD presents the #UNFORGOTTEN campaign that features stories of Tibetan political prisoners via video testimonies and other visuals for the next 10 days. The goal of our campaign is to remind ourselves and the world at large that torture is the most violent assault on human dignity that has no place in the civilised world. We commend the former Tibetan political prisoners for their courage and compassion in speaking out against their torturers and lending their valuable support to the campaign to eliminate torture in all its forms.
#UNFORGOTTEN Testimonies of Former Tibetan Political Prisoners
The #UNFORGOTTEN campaign will be available on TCHRD’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts from 26 June to 5 July 2022.