Dharamshala, India – Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy released its 2022 annual report, titled " Human Rights Situation in Tibet," on Tuesday, and said 2022 was one of the worst years in recent years as Chinese authorities redoubled Covid repressive measures to further erode human rights.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) released its "Annual Report 2022 on the Human Rights Situation in Tibet" on March 28, 2023, at the TCHRD Conference Hall, Gangkyi, Dharamshala, HP, India.
The 2022 Annual Report covers the following issues: “Covid crisis, Surveillance and privacy, Involuntary mass DNA collection, Transnational repression, Freedom of religion and belief, anti-dalai lama campaigns, ban on religious expression, Education and language rights, forced cultural assimilation policy, persecution of Tibetan language advocates, forceful promotion of Putonghua, Arbitrary detention and torture, death in detention, incommunicado detention, Freedom of expression, self-immolation protests, crackdown on writers, intellectuals and cultural figures, restrictions on online spaces.”
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy’s annual report stated that 2022 was one of the worst years in recent years as the Chinese authorities redoubled repressive measures to further erode human rights. The "zero-covid" policy has been ruthlessly enforced, causing enormous suffering to Tibetans and others in the People's Republic of China (PRC).
“We have seen an unprecedented expansion of the involuntary mass DNA collection. Millions of people in the Tibet Autonomous Region – including men, women, Buddhist monks, and children with no criminal record, are made to submit DNA samples,” said Mr Ngawang Lungtok, a researcher at TCHRD.
“This DNA collection drive, along with online surveillance, CCTV cameras, bugged homes, and checkpoints, are some of the many social control mechanisms to suppress dissent and bring the entire population under state control,” he added.
“Outside Tibet, exiled Tibetan activists and dissidents with relatives in Tibet are particularly vulnerable to the PRC’s multi-year campaign of transnational repression, which aims to silence criticism and expand the PRC’s control over emigrant and diaspora communities,” Ms Tenzin Dawa, Senior Programme Officer at TCHRD.
“Efforts are being made on an alarming scale to cut off all contact between Tibetans living inside and outside Tibet to ensure that the PRC can hide its human rights violations in Tibet. Tibetans have been fired from their jobs, imprisoned, and tortured merely for staying in contact with relatives living abroad,” the Human Rights report stated.
“Through their laws, policies, and practices, the Chinese authorities unduly and disproportionately restrict and breach the right to privacy for Tibetans in Tibet, thereby denying them other fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression,” the report added.
“Numerous measures are put in place to establish absolute government control over the state education system. The imposition of Chinese medium education, government boarding schools, and the crackdown on private schools has resulted in grave human rights violations. Tibetan culture and language are marginalised, and related rights are denied under the forced cultural assimilation policy,” the annual report mentioned.
“Many Tibetans are denied the right to manifest his or her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. Tibetan writers and intellectuals receive heavy prison sentences following lengthy pretrial detention. Tibetan political prisoners and other detainees died from torture injuries without having been charged, in pre- or post-trial detention, or after their release. Many remain held in unofficial detention facilities with no legal oversight that would ensure the prevention of torture and other grave human rights violations,” the human Rights report revealed.
TCHRD’s recommendations to the Chinese Government:
- Guarantee the right to self-determination and enforce policies that enable Tibetans to exercise genuine autonomy as provided for in the PRC’s Constitution and Law on Regional National Autonomy.
- End the forced cultural assimilation or sinicization policy to protect the individual and collective rights of the Tibetan people.
- Create concrete conditions to enable Tibetans to exercise the rights and freedoms on education and language rights enshrined in international treaties and conventions that PRC ratified.
- Allow Tibetans to fully exercise their human rights, to preserve their cultural identity, and to ensure their participation in decision-making. Release all Tibetans arbitrarily imprisoned in official and unofficial detention centres and prisons.
To the International Community:
- Cease creating new economic contracts with PRC until the Chinese government addresses the dire human rights situation in Tibet.
- Refuse, both individually and collectively, to invest in areas in PRC where human rights violations are being committed in Tibet.
- Pressure China to fulfil its human rights obligations pursuant to its ratification of major human rights treaties and conventions.
- Protect and guarantee the human rights of Tibetan refugees and asylum seekers fleeing Chinese persecution.
- Demand accountability from the Chinese government for its human rights violations by not supporting China-sponsored resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and all other multilateral platforms.
- Pressure China to extend invitations to UN human rights experts on freedom of religion, expression, cultural rights, torture, enforced disappearance, privacy, and assembly all of whom have made repeated visit requests to visit PRC.
- Support the June 2020 call by 50 UN human rights experts to act collectively and decisively to ensure China respects human rights and abides by its international obligations.
- Impose targeted sanctions and travel ban on individuals responsible for human rights crimes in Tibet. Provide asylum and support to Tibetans and others from the PRC seeking refuge in foreign countries.
“Through the recommendations provided to the Chinese government and the international community in the report, we hope concrete measures will be undertaken at the earliest to prevent and punish human rights violations in Tibet,” said Mr Nyiwoe, a researcher at TCHRD.
“At a time when China is projecting itself as an important international player with the largest population and the second biggest economy, gross human rights violations continue in Tibet and elsewhere in the PRC. The international community has the collective responsibility to hold China accountable for its harsh treatment of Tibetans and many others,” he added.