State Department’s ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’ refuses to describe Tibet as “inalienable part of China”

State Department’s ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’ refuses to describe Tibet as “inalienable part of China”
Staff Reporter
April 1, 2021
Washington: The United States State Department published its annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” report. Organized by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, this year’s report includes over 50,000 words detailing the US’s assessment of the deteriorating human rights in China.
This year’s report marks a victory for Tibetans, for the report’s Tibet section does not describe Tibet as an “inalienable part of China”—a departure from past reports. This symbolic yet important gesture has been repeatedly campaigned by the Central Tibetan Administration, and this change is welcomed by the Office of Tibet-DC.
Reminiscent of past briefings, by the CTA and others, the report details the ongoing human rights issues in Tibet, such as torture, arbitrary detentions, corruption of the judiciary and elections, lack of freedom of association/assembly/movement/religion, censorship, forced sterilization, and violence against indigenous peoples. The forced disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima (11th Panchen Lama), Derung Tsering Dhundrup (a Tibetan scholar), and Gen Sonam (a senior manager of the Potala Palace) was highlighted. The Tibet section also mentions the Chinese Communist Party’s forced labor program for approximately 500,000 rural Tibetans, which was noted last September.
In the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices’s China section,  the report affirms the Trump Administration’s assertion that the Chinese Communist Party is conducting genocide in: “Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes were continuing and include the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”
The Biden Administration’s report highlights the concerning mass surveillance of Tibetans, Uyghurs, dissidents, and religiously affiliated peoples by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The China section details how the Chinese government installed surveillance cameras in monasteries in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas, which would allow the CCP to cut communication systems during “major security incidents.” The report cites Human Right Watch’s findings that the Ministry of Public Security has been partnering with technology companies to create “mass automated voice recognition and monitoring system,” systems that were created to help the Chinese government more easily understand Tibetan and Uyghur languages. Fingerprints and DNA profiles and other biometric data were also being stored by the Ministry of Public Security—this practice is implemented for all Uyghurs applying for passports.
The report addresses the racist discriminatory practices that deprive Tibetans, Mongolians, Uyghurs, and other ethnic minority groups of their fair right to language, education, and jobs. The report details how Han Chinese benefit from these racist policies, “Government development programs and job provisions disrupted traditional living patterns of minority groups and in some cases included the forced relocation of persons and the forced settlement of nomads. Han Chinese benefited disproportionately from government programs and economic growth in minority areas. As part of its emphasis on building a ‘harmonious society’ and maintaining social stability, the government downplayed racism and institutional discrimination against minorities and cracked down on peaceful expressions of ethnic culture and religion.” The State Department report mentions how Chinese officials restrict NGOs that provide assistance to Tibetans as well.
-Filed by the Office of Tibet, Washington

Tibet was historically never a part of China: webinar on Tibet Brief 2020

Tibet was historically never a part of China: webinar on Tibet Brief 2020
Staff Reporter
March 30, 2021
Dharamshala: Contrary to the claims of the PRC government, Tibet was historically never a part of China. China does not possess sovereignty over Tibet and its occupation of Tibet is in breach of international law. World governments, therefore, have the obligation to help end the illegal occupation of Tibet. Such was the overarching conclusions of the webinar organised by the Office of Tibet, South Africa.
Premised on Dr Michael Van Walt’s newly launched ‘Tibet Brief 2020’, the webinar rebuts China’s so-called historical claims over Tibet, concocted on a self-serving historically fabricated narrative.
“It is all known that before the invasion, Tibet has always been an independent nation with its own territory, distinct culture, and a fully functional government system,” ” Former President of Botswana, HE Seretse Khama Ian Khama said. “One way or the other, China needs to be pushed out.”
“This is despicable in today’s age,” HE said, as he criticized China’s assault on Tibetan people and exploitation of Tibet’s environment and resources for “economic and industrial expansion” and in the process, polluting the erstwhile pristine environment and displacing thousands and leaving them impoverished.
“It is high time that people of Tibet are given what is rightfully theirs.” HE further described China’s undemocratic behaviours on the international platform as a “spillover” of how they deal with their own people. “We see their threats against the Republic of China Taiwan, which is an independent and sovereign state that will one day take its place alongside other nations at the UN; we see cruelty and oppression of people of Hong Kong; the illegal occupation of South China Sea; the general abuse of human rights of Chinese people and people of Tibet.”
While condemning China’s horrendous human rights record in the recent past, the former Bostwana president commended the United States, UK and others that recently announced a slew of sanctions against China over its human rights abuses, and especially the US govt. on passing the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020.
“The biggest threat to democracy and peaceful and stable world order is Communist China. As a friend of the Tibetan people, I will continue raising awareness for free and liberated Tibet. The evil of China will be conquered.”
Dr Michael Van Walt, Tibet expert and renowned advisor for global peace processes, in his address spoke about the now 70 year-spanning occupation of Tibet by China emboldening it to carry on with its expansionist agendas elsewhere and called out the international silence which prioritises its economic interests before the protection of Tibetan’s basic right to self-determination.
He excoriated the false historical narrative used by China to claim sovereignty over Tibet as legally baseless, pointing out that it derives its justification from a retroactive appropriation of foreign empires and their territorial scope to misrepresent history and likened it with India claiming sovereignty over former British colonies. He further asserted that the presence of PRC in Tibet, particularly China’s armed invasion of Tibet in 1950 is in violation of fundamental modern international laws citing the prohibition of the use of force against another state and UN laws on colonialism which states that “colonialism in all its forms and manifestations is a violation of international law”.
He noted the growing international pushback against China’s expansionist policies citing the recent sanctions imposed by the US, Europe and the UK, however, he added that the global silence on Tibet’s ongoing occupation denies Tibet its rightful status and right to self-determination.
In his conclusion, he presented two propositions: 1)treating the situation in Tibet, Sino-Tibet relations and conflict as falling within the international community and government’s purview and responsibility and stressed that stating, asserting and acting upon it repeatedly is key. 2) Actively countering Beijing’s narrative which is part of their annexation strategy.
Highlighting the euphemistic use of language to refer to Tibet he said the use of the phrase “Tibet issue” is meaningless and implies a lack of confidence and a non-committal attitude harming Tibet’s plight and recommended his well-researched book, ‘Tibet Brief 2020’ to be versed on Tibet.
Representative Ngodup Dorjee in his welcome remarks thanked His Excellency Ian Khama and Dr Michael van Walt for addressing the webinar.
He said the discussion is premised on the new book ‘Tibet Brief 2020’ to critically analyse the historical and international legal status of Tibet and debunk Chinese claims of Tibet being a part of China from antiquity, adding that “this kind of engagement has strong implication for the Chinese side to negotiate with the Tibetan government in exile” on the basis of Tibet’s historical status and not that of Tibet being an internal matter of China.
He also noted the relevance of such a discussion to take place in South Africa, where the common link between the two peoples is the Chinese narrative of Tibet as its integral part, which has to be debunked with the truth.
The 90-minute long virtual interaction was moderated by Klasie Wessels and joined by Professor Anthony Goedals and Professor Atabongwoung Gallous, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Elizabeth, Tibet House, South Africa delivered the closing remarks.

A bill in solidarity with six million Tibetans

A bill in solidarity with six million Tibetans
Staff Reporter
March 26, 2021
Lobsang Sangay Daiji World 25 March 2021
Mar 25 (IANS): The Tibetan Support and Policy Act of 2020 was passed by the US Congress, which is a landmark victory for the people of Tibet and their struggle. This bill acknowledges the struggle of people of Tibet against the brutal and oppressive Chinese occupation and is in solidarity with six million Tibetans who are suffering inside Tibet. Washington has always fought the non-democratic forces and stands firm hand in hand with the Tibetan brothers and sisters and their freedom struggle. Washington D.C. has always supported the justice of Tibetan people and will continue to pursue and support the cause. This is also the recognition of the legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his earnest efforts towards the justice for Tibetan brothers. This will be a major boost to the Tibetan freedom struggle, and is thus of historic importance.
It is not an easy task to fight the evil and rise up against the fascist and dictatorial regimes. The manifestation of fascism as a democratic country won’t be tolerated and has to be fought against. We Tibetans are fighting for our rightful cause and in this regard, we have knocked at the doors of conscience of every major global player. Getting the laws enacted is a gigantic task that too when it is against one of the most brutal powers of the world. We took to lobbying for enacting the bill as a law; all the Tibetan associations in the US, including the Tibetan Youth Congress, SFT and so on were involved in it. The House passed the bill with the overwhelming majority but only after a toiling effort from all. I made my effort toward the Senate and reached out to many Republican Senators, pursued to get the bill passed, however the success was yet far off and the period of hardship was not over. There was though a glimmer of hope in May. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s business meeting was called and Tibet was on the agenda; But then the business meeting was adjourned and nothing really happened from May onwards. I came to the US in October 2020 and the environment wasn’t feasible. The pandemic has struck at the heart of the US. It was just before the election former President Donald Trump was infected with coronavirus and some Congressmen and Senators were also infected. It was very chaotic and there was no chance.
It was in November 2020 I met the Democratic staff and Republican staff online and strategised on how we should go about the bill. I was told that in the second week of December, the business meeting will be called and Tibet will be on the agenda again. The bill had to pass on the Senate floor first before it could go to the House, which meant a lot of work was to be done and many things accomplished before the bill could be presented. The Senate version had amendments including the acknowledgment of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as an institution that can reflect the official representative of the Tibetan diaspora all over the world and as the President of CTA. We wanted this major amendment, and as it goes every amendment has to be put to vote. we got the major breakthrough when the Tibet bill was taken out of all other major bills. This would mean a lot of focus on the agenda of Tibet. The Xinjiang bill didn’t get out from the Senate Foreign Relations committee. We managed to get the bill out of the staff members and the senators agreed to attach it to the Appropriation Bill. That is how it got passed. Thanks to his Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the monasteries who prayed for the Tibet cause. It wouldn’t be fair if we overlook the struggle and the hardship His Holiness the Dalai Lama went through.

US Going To Hold China Accountable To Follow Rules, Says Biden

US Going To Hold China Accountable To Follow Rules, Says Biden
Staff Reporter
March 26, 2021
NDTV 26 March 2021
Washington: The United States working with its partners and allies is going to hold China accountable to follow the rules, US President Joe Biden has said, as he referred to his recent meeting with leaders from Quad countries involving Australia, India and Japan.
“Earlier this month, and apparently got the Chinese attention, that’s not why did it, I met with our allies and — how we’re going to hold China accountable in the region, Australia, India, Japan, the United States, the so-called Quad, because we have to have democracies working together,” he said.
Addressing his first solo news conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday, Biden said that soon he is going to invite an alliance of democracies to come to Washington DC to “discuss the future”. “We are going to make it clear that, in order to deal with these things, we are going to hold China accountable to follow the rules, to follow the rules, whether it relates to the South China Sea or the North China Sea or the agreement made on Taiwan or a whole range of other things,” he asserted.

‘I stand firmly with them’: UK Prime Minister condemns China’s sanctions against UK MPs for highlighting human rights abuses in China

‘I stand firmly with them’: UK Prime Minister condemns China’s sanctions against UK MPs for highlighting human rights abuses in China
Staff Reporter
March 28, 2021
‘I stand firmly with them’: UK Prime Minister condemns China’s sanctions against UK MPs for highlighting human rights abuses in China. Photo/Facebook/Tim Loughton
London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday invited some of the MPs including RT. Tim Loughton to Number 10, Downing street for discussion on China’s imposed sanctions on nine UK citizens including five MPs yesterday.
“This morning, I spoke with some of those who have been shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims. I stand firmly with them and the other British citizens sanctioned by China,” the PM tweeted.
Following the European Union imposed sanctions against four Chinese officials involved in running internment camps for hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang last week, Rt. Tim Loughton led a cross-party group of 15 Parliamentarians who are members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China called on the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Rt. Hon Dominic Raab on 25 March 2021 to issue sanctions on additional two Chinese officials name Chen Quanguo and Wu Yingjie for alleged human rights abuses in both Xinjiang and Tibet as per new report from Tibet Advocacy Coalition revealed Chinese government’s ‘cradle to grave’ policies of displacement, control and cultural erasure in Tibet. Both the individuals had been omitted from sanctions on Chinese officials announced by the EU and UK Government earlier this week.
On 26 March, China imposed sanctions on nine UK citizens including five UK MPs for “spreading lies and disinformation” about China’s horrendous treatment of Tibetans and Uyghurs. The five MPs include Rt. Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Hon. Nusrat Ghani, Rt. Tim Loughton, Lord David Alton and Baroness Helena Kennedy, who are all members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. Rt. Tim Loughton is also a co-chair of All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and Lord David Alton is a Vice chair of APPGT. China immediately imposed sanctions on them after they had called on UK Secretary of State to issue sanctions on two Chinese officials the day earlier.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson through his statement in the tweet and meeting with the MPs today sent clear message to the Chinese government that the UK stands with the MPs and call on stop gross human rights abuses in China. PM tweeted on 26 March: “The MPs and other British citizens sanctioned by China today are performing a vital role shining a light on the gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Uyghur Muslims. Freedom to speak out in opposition to abuse is fundamental and I stand firmly with them.” (…/brexit-news-latest…)
Also Minister of State for Asia at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Mr. Nigel Adams summoned Chinese Charge d’ Affaires Yang Xiaoguang following China’s sanctioning of 9 British individuals and 4 entities. In a press release yesterday, A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “Today the Chinese Charge d’Affaires, Yang Xiaoguang, was summoned to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Minister for Asia, Nigel Adams MP, made clear Beijing’s decision to impose sanctions on British individuals and entities is unwarranted and unacceptable.
“The Minister noted that China has chosen to sanction individuals and entities that are seeking to shine a light on human rights violations and that today’s actions would not distract attention away from those very violations taking place in Xinjiang.’’
Rt. Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP said, “Those of us who live free lives under the rule of law must speak for those who have no voice. If that brings the anger of China down upon me then I shall wear that as a badge of honour.”
Rt Tim Loughton MP also spoke to Sky News following his sanctions by China. “It will only refortify the determination of us, who want to call China out for its abuses”, he said.
Lord David Alton issued statement after being sanctioned by China. In his statement, he said “The CCP’s attempts to silence its critics – including Uyghurs in Xinjiang, democrats in Hong Kong, and dissidents across the Mainland, now includes UK Parliamentarians, lawyers and the BBC.
I have met dissidents and activists hunted down, intimidated, and bullied, by the CCP. Hosted the blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng – who spent 4 years in CCP prisons – and hosted a visit to Liverpool by the Dalai Lama – who has spent 60 years in exile.
Xiaobo Liu understood the nature of the CCP’s ideology and rightly asserted that “Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth.”
– filed by OOT London

Foreign journalists say China blocked independent reporting in Tibet

Foreign journalists say China blocked independent reporting in Tibet
By International Campaign for Tibet|March 1, 2021
The Chinese government restricted foreign journalists’ ability to report in Tibet last year while obstructing coverage of COVID-19 and carrying out the largest expulsion of foreign journalists from China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Those are some of the troubling findings in the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China’s 2020 annual report, “Track, Trace, Expel: Reporting on China Amid a Pandemic.”
The report, released March 1, 2021, evaluates reporting conditions in China, which annexed Tibet more than 60 years ago.
The FCCC based the report on a survey of 150 journalists representing news organizations from 30 countries and regions.
Access to Tibet
The report notes the Chinese government restricts access to the Tibet Autonomous Region, which is the only region that China requires foreign journalists to apply for permission before entering. China often denies that permission, however.
The report says China’s State Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs occasionally organize government-supervised trips to the TAR, which spans most of central and western Tibet. However, they “carefully choose which journalists and organizations are allowed to participate,” the report says.
During one of those trips to the TAR last year, journalists were not able to report independently, with government handlers tightly controlling their schedules and police following them if they tried to visit places on their own.
“Our minders in Tibet became very nervous when some foreign media journalists tried to use their drones,” one foreign journalist told the FCCC. “They said, ‘Tibet is a restricted area’ when asked why reporters could not fly their drones in Tibet, which does not geofence drones. Our minders said that ‘you still have to have special permission’ to fly drones there.”
Restrictions on US journalists
Another state-run trip last year stopped in the TAR and Tibetan areas of Qinghai province. However, US journalists and outlets said they were not able to join, with officials telling several correspondents the trip was “full,” according to the FCCC report.
The report notes the US passed a law in 2018 designed to pressure the Chinese government to give Americans journalists, diplomats and ordinary citizens the same level of access to Tibet that Chinese citizens have to the United States.
As part of the law, called the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, the State Department announced in July 2020 that it had banned Chinese officials from entering the US over their role in keeping Americans out of Tibet.
In addition, President Biden said in his campaign that he would “insist that the Chinese government restore access to Tibet for US citizens, including our diplomats and journalists.”
That promise was part of Biden’s longer statement on Tibet, in which he said that the “Biden-Harris administration will stand up for the people of Tibet.”
Restrictions by China
The FCCC report states that 6 of 8 correspondents who tried to report from Tibetan areas—such as in Sichuan and Gansu provinces—said they faced restrictions and prohibitions from the Chinese government.
Overall, Chinese officials “dramatically stepped up efforts” to limit the work of foreign correspondents across the country in 2020, the report says.
“All arms of state power—including surveillance systems introduced to curb coronavirus—were used to harass and intimidate journalists, their Chinese colleagues, and those whom the foreign press sought to interview,” the report says.
The disturbing developments include:
China expelling at least 18 foreign journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The Chinese government also cancelled press credentials and denied visa renewals, leading to “the largest expulsion of foreign journalists since the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre more than three decades ago,” the report says.
Chinese officers preventing two Australian journalists from leaving the country. One of the journalists said the move showed “the old precedents no longer apply.”
Chinese authorities obstructing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in China and has since claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million people around the world.
China using the coronavirus as a pretext for denying reporters access to certain areas and for preventing them from re-entering China altogether.
ICT quote
International Campaign for Tibet Interim Vice President Tencho Gyatso said:
“As we’ve seen from the coronavirus pandemic over the past year, the cost of China’s press restrictions and secrecy is too much for the world to bear. Yet even as the Chinese government has intensified its crackdowns on foreign journalism and human rights in every area under its control, it has continued to treat Tibet—especially the Tibet Autonomous Region—as a special case.
“We are grateful to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China for reporting on the media’s lack of access to Tibet. What the Tibetan people need now is for foreign journalists to be able to report from inside Tibet. We at the International Campaign for Tibet will continue to work with governments around the world to try to make that possible.”

New clergy regulations hurt Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics

New clergy regulations hurt Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics
By International Campaign for Tibet|February 25, 2021
The Chinese government will soon have even more power to control religious clergy under new regulations that will undermine the authority of Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the Catholic Church.
The Measures for the Administration of Religious Clergy (Order No. 15) will go into effect May 1, 2021. The State Administration of Religious Affairs—renamed the National Religious Affairs Administration in English in recent years—passed the measures in January.
Among other things, the measures standardize state management of clergy, require clergy to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and legally underpin the “Sinicization” of religion. Sinicization is an effort led by Chinese President Xi Jinping to bring aspects of society, including non-Chinese ethnic groups and religions, under the control of the Chinese government.
Adding to the government’s already vast powers to monitor, control and limit religious practice, the new measures help institutionalize the suppression of Tibetan Buddhism, the primary faith in Chinese-occupied Tibet and a growing spiritual practice in the United States and other countries.
State selection of clergy
The measures reaffirm the state’s role in managing and approving reincarnate Tibetan lamas under the 2017 Regulation on Religious Affairs, the 2007 Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism and other regulations.
Under the regulations, the Chinese government requires Tibetan Buddhist monks to get the state’s approval before reincarnating.
China plans to use this authority to control the succession of the Dalai Lama, with the intent to select an impostor who will be loyal to the Chinese Communist Party.
US policy
However, at the end of 2020, the US government enacted the Tibetan Policy and Support Act, which made it official US policy reaffirming the sole authority of the current Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist community on his succession.
Under the TPSA, if any Chinese officials try to name their own Dalai Lama in the future, the US will sanction them.
The new law also requires the State Department to work at the international level to build support for Tibetan Buddhists’ freedom to choose their own leaders without government interference.
In addition, article 16 declares that state-run entities will approve and ordain Catholic bishops.
Article 12 says religious personnel shall not accept control by foreign forces or the unauthorized appointment of clergy by foreign religious groups and institutions.
These provisions would appear to target the influence of the Dalai Lama—who has lived in India since China forced him into exile in 1959—and the Vatican.
“Love the motherland”
The measures also create new requirements for clergy to serve the state.
According to the measures, clergy must “love the motherland, support the leadership of the Communist Party of China, support the socialist system.”
Clergy must also “maintain national unity, ethnic unity, religious harmony and social stability.”
The measures also include a long list of things clergy cannot do, including “endanger national security,” “undermine national unity” and “divide the country.” The Chinese government often portrays any attempt by Tibetans to express their unique culture and religion as a threat to national unity and security.
Expanding bureaucracy and surveillance
The measures will also expand the role of bureaucracy and surveillance in religious management.
As part of this system, the government will assign 12-digit numerical codes to clergy members.
In addition, the State Administration of Religious Affairs will establish a database for all religious personnel.
Religious organizations will have to create records on clerical personnel and report them to government religious affairs departments.
Religious organizations will also have to develop evaluation systems to inform decisions on appointments, rewards and punishments for clergy members.
For a clergy member to do something as simple as engage in religious activities across jurisdictions, they must get approval ahead of time.
If clergy members or religious facilities violate the state’s edicts, they can lose their credentials and face other punishments.
ICT quote
International Campaign for Tibet Interim President Bhuchung K. Tsering said:
“With these new measures, the Chinese Communist Party is not only harming people of faith and endangering the survival of Tibet’s unique and beautiful Buddhist religion. It is also making a mockery of the very idea of faith by turning it into just another tool to prop up the totalitarian Communist regime. From its persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, to its genocide of Uyghur Muslims, to its affronts against the Catholic Church, the Chinese government is waging war on religion. As with the recently enacted Tibetan Policy and Support Act in the United States, governments around the world must continue to push back against China and protect the universal right to religious freedom of all people, including those living under China’s authoritarian rule.”

A Tibetan tour guide dies from prison injuries in Driru, Tibet

A Tibetan tour guide dies from prison injuries in Driru, Tibet
Staff Reporter
February 17, 2021
Dharamshala: A Tibetan tour guide serving a 21-year sentence in Chinese jail died earlier this month due to prison injuries, reported Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Kunchok Jinpa, 51, passed away on 6 February in a hospital in Lhasa after being transferred there from prison. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage and was paralyzed. According to HRW, Kunchok Jinpa was detained by the Chinese authorities on 8 November 2013 without his family’s knowledge. In 2013, hundreds of Tibetans were detained from Driru county after a series of peaceful protests against China’s compulsory flag-flying campaign where the local Tibetans were forced to fly Chinese flags from every house. Kunchok was one of those detained. He was later convicted of leaking state secrets for sharing information to foreign media on protests in his region and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Expressing deep sadness and concern, President of Central Tibetan Administration, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay remarked, “the tragic news of Kunchok Jinpa’s death due to torture and mistreatment while in Chinese prison comes barely a month after a similar death of 19-year-old Tenzin Nyima. China’s pervasive use of torture on prisoners of conscience is not unknown to the world. There are hundreds of Tibetans illegally held and tortured for their defiance of China’s rule over Tibet.” Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay urged for international intervention and said, “The international community and UN human rights experts must intervene and investigate these cases of arbitrary detention, conviction without due process, torturing and killing of Tibetans by the Chinese government”.
According to HRW, in November 2020, the authorities moved him from prison to a hospital in Lhasa in serious condition. On 29 January, his family members learned of his serious condition when six of his family members were called to the hospital to donate blood, according to our source. However, they were not allowed to meet him in the hospital.
Kunchok Jinpa died on 6 February. He was a resident of Village No. 5 in Chaktse township in Driru county, about 300 kilometers north of Lhasa. He was a former monk at the Gom Gonsar monastery(Choekor Jampaling) in Driru. After traveling to India in October 1989, he studied at the Jangchubling monastery in Dehradun for 18 months. Later, he studied at Tibetan Children’s Village School, Suja, and graduated in 1996. He returned to Tibet in about 1998. Proficient in four languages; Tibetan, English, Hindi and Chinese as well, he worked as a tour guide. He was a strong advocate of education and economic development.
According to Human Rights Watch, his final communication on WeChat was in April 2013 where he wrote: “I am now at the bank of a river. There are many people behind me watching me, and I am sure to be arrested. Even if they arrest me, I am not afraid, even if they kill me, I have no regrets. But from now on, I will not be able to give reports. If there is no word from me, that means I have been arrested.”
Last month, Tenzin Nyima, a teenage monk from Dza Wonpo, Sershul county, Karze (Ch:Ganzi) died on 19 January after he was severely beaten and tortured by the Chinese authorities.
In August 2020, Lhamo, a 36-year-old mother of three from Driru county, Nagchu died due to torture in Chinese custody.
– Filed by UN, EU & Human Rights Desk/DIIR

ICT calls for investigation after Tibetan dies following torture

ICT calls for investigation after Tibetan dies following torture
February 17, 2021
The International Campaign for Tibet urges the UN Human Rights Council to investigate growing reports of torture in Tibet after Human Rights Watch reported the death of a Tibetan tour guide whom Chinese authorities tortured and abused.
In a report on Feb. 16, 2021, HRW said 51-year-old tour guide Kunchok Jinpa succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on Feb. 6, 2021 after being transferred from custody without his family’s knowledge less than three months earlier. The report said he was paralyzed after a brain hemorrhage.
Jinpa was detained on Nov. 8, 2013 and subsequently charged with forwarding “state secrets” about environmental protests and other protests in his home region to foreign media. The court sentenced him to 21 years in prison.
He was one of several hundred Tibetans from Driru County in Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) City who peacefully protested several times in October 2013 against official orders that every house must fly the Chinese flag. HRW’s report said Jinpa may have also informed Tibetans outside the People’s Republic of China in May 2013 about protests against planned mine projects on the holy mountain “Naklha Dzamba.” He also might have passed on the names of Tibetans imprisoned in this context, HRW said.
During the 2013 Driru protests, there were reports of mass arrests and security forces shooting at unarmed demonstrators, HRW said.
Jinpa was a monk in the Gom Gonsar Monastery (also known as Choekor Jampaling) in Driru, and later, in the 1990s, studied for some years in India at the Changchubling Monastery, the main center in exile of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and also in two other educational institutions for Tibetan studies. He returned to his homeland in 1998 and worked as a travel guide.
HRW reported that Jinpa’s family had no knowledge about his whereabouts for years.
ICT calls on the UN Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation into the range of human rights violations in Tibet, as UN human rights experts already called for in June 2020.
Those responsible in the Chinese state and party apparatus for the death of Kunchok Jinpa must be held accountable for the system of torture and ill-treatment against Tibetans.

Beijing’s repression deepened across the country in 2020: Human Rights Watch Report

Beijing’s repression deepened across the country in 2020: Human Rights Watch Report
January 15, 2021
Published By Bureau Reporter
Dharamshala: China had a grim year for human rights in 2020, according to the World Report 2021 by Human Rights Watch. The report on China highlighted human rights issues ranging from the “National Security Law” in Hong Kong, repression of the Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs in forced labour camps to the censorship of reporting on the Coronavirus outbreak. Chinese government’s record of human rights violations, one of the worst in the world, has only deteriorated for the dismay of those concerned, including human rights defenders and activists.
Human Rights Watch noted that in 2020 authorities in Tibetan areas continued to severely restrict religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly, and failed to redress popular concerns about the mining and land grabs by local officials, which often involves intimidation and unlawful use of force by security forces.
The Chinese state has used the coronavirus pandemic to deepen its advance into the private and devotional lives of Tibetans. Tibetans in Tibet were told by the Chinese authorities to refrain from celebrating Losar, Tibetan New Year, celebration last year as a preventive measure to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the history and magnitude of the festival, the ban has major consequences on many freedoms of the Tibetan people from religious rights to cultural practices. Major monasteries still remain closed for public abstaining the religious Tibetan people from practicing their religion.
The report also sheds light on Adrian Zenz’s case study on China’s militarised vocational training system in Tibet. According to Zenz’s report, Chinese government, under the guise of alleviating poverty in the TAR region and as part of the 13th Five year plan for Tibet, has coerced half-a-million Tibetans into mass labour through a militarised system in the first 7-months of 2020. With this system, Chinese government aims to produce discipline and obedience; transform labourer’s thinking and identity; reform “backwardness”: teach law and Chinese by depreciating Tibetan Language; weaken the perceived negative influence of religion.
Moreover, with regulations for the promotion of “Nationality Unity Model Areas”, the Communist party encouraged economic migration from other parts of China and phased out Tibetan-medium instruction in primary schools. Public protests were withdrawn from the minds of the public through constant surveillance and intimidation, a goal emphasised repeatedly by leading officials.
Detention and sentence of Tibetan into prison continues to exist even today. Every citizen is made to sacrifice their freedom to act according to the policy of the Party. If found acting in opposition to the Party line, severe punishment will ensue.
At the start of the year the Chinese government faced two major challenges; an unknown disease that threatened to tear through its population and a wave of voices online telling the world what was happening. It was clear from the thousands of messages of public outrage appearing on Chinese social media that the government was covering up the Covid-19 virus.
Amid all the confusion, Li Wenliang, known internationally as the “whistleblower” doctor, died on 7 February after it came to light that he had been investigated for “disturbing social order” by “making false comments”. In another case, several citizen journalists were arrested for coverage that threatened the official narrative of Beijing’s response. The Committee to Protect Journalists says three are still in prison.
China imposed national security legislation in Hong Kong on the eve of the anniversary of its British handover to China on July 1. Last week, 53 of Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy activists and politicians were arrested in morning raids, in the biggest crackdown since its imposition. The law is the most aggressive assault on Hong Kong people’s freedoms since the handover from British in 1997.
“Overnight, Beijing robbed the Hong Kong people of their human rights,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Long used to freedoms, Hong Kong people now face the prospect of lengthy prison terms for possessing banners or chanting slogans that the authorities dislike.”
According to the HRW report, since early 2017, the authorities are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps. The Communist Party’s efforts to erase the identity of Uyghurs and other Muslims in the region persisted, citing reports from the satellite imagery that concluded that over 100 traditional Uyghurs cemeteries had been destroyed and 260 “massive” detention structures had been built since 2017.
“The forced labour of Uyghurs in Xinjiang doesn’t have a strong international response that it needs, as compared to that of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’, said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.
– Filed by UN, EU and Human Rights Desk/DIIR