No access to justice for Tibetans, says new report on human rights in Tibet
February 27, 2017
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights & Democracy, February 23, 2017 – The party-state of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continued its egregious human rights violations and abuses in Tibet by criminalizing basic human rights and freedoms, and engaging in arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance, collective punishment and environmental destruction to name a few, according to the 2016 Annual Report on human rights situation in Tibet released by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). Repressive laws and regulations were introduced and intensified to enable widespread and systematic human rights violations. Despite the extremely deplorable situation in Tibet, the PRC made no effort to change its policy of repression, authoritarianism and state-sponsored violence.
The report highlights tightened controls over the right to freedom of expression, privacy, religion, and assembly. In addition, it focuses on the substantial barriers faced by Tibetans in accessing the Chinese justice system due to PRC’s politicized and emasculated judiciary. The fate and future of Tibet’s environment remains a pressing issue in light of PRC’s continued practice of using Tibetan land and resources primarily for resource extraction and economic exploitation while forcing local Tibetans to lead impoverished and wasted lives, dependent on government handouts, on the margins of the Chinese economic boom.
The PRC’s paramilitary troops engaged in brutal and ruthless attacks on Tibetans exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly. Chinese authorities used excessive force to suppress and detain Tibetans protesting against mining operations, land grab, environmental destruction, and arbitrary demolition drives. Tibetans continued to die in detention due to torture and inhumane treatment for merely exercising their human rights.
TCHRD’s Political Prisoners Desk has noted a decline in the number of average detention in the last two years (2015 and 2016) due to extreme communication clampdown and use of collective punishment against those sharing information or maintaining contacts with outsiders. But the number was still high at 70. The average monthly breakdown for 2015 was approximately nine per month and in 2016, the number stood at 3.27 persons per month.
Over the years, the PRC has introduced new policies and practices to censor and control information it wants to hide from the international community. In addition, its sheer avoidance of cooperation with international investigatory bodies, the stringent communication blockade, and the violation of privacy rights and censorship have made it harder to access complete information from inside Tibet. Accessing information from outside Tibet has become more difficult as well as ethically challenging due to the routine persecution and imprisonment of information sources in Tibet. Even if this report cannot fully represent the grave situation inside Tibet under Chinese occupation, it can surely be taken as an indicator of the great extent of human rights violations and repression faced by Tibetans inside Tibet.