Anti-corruption crackdown in Tibet must focus on human rights abuses

Zhou Yongkang, China's former security czar used the prevailing anti-terror mood or 'war on terror' to engage in widespread and systematic abuse of human rights in Tibet [Photo:]

Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security czar used the prevailing anti-terror mood or ‘war on terror’ to engage in widespread and systematic abuse of human rights in Tibet

As part of the Xi Jinping anti-corruption campaign, investigators are being sent to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) for disciplinary purposes. They will investigate not only official corruption, the focus of the campaign, but also officials who do not follow the central government’s policy of systematically violating human rights in Tibet. Since Xi Jinping was appointed President of the PRC, he has paired reform and repression. The repression has often been disproportionately harsher and longer lasting than the promised reforms, especially in Tibetan areas. The anti-corruption campaign is not an exception to this rule. However, if the goal of the anti-corruption campaign is to address the causes of social unrest, it is doomed to fail unless the government stops supporting the wanton violation of human rights in Tibet.

On Monday, discipline investigators were sent into the Tibet Autonomous Region [1] to investigate corruption. This is part of an escalation and expansion of the crackdown on systemic corruption within the Chinese Communist Party. After months of speculation [2], the PRC officially began [3] investigating Zhou Yongkang for corruption. Zhou Yongkang is a former member of the standing committee and the highest-ranking official to be openly investigated for a criminal offense since the Cultural Revolution. [4] Earlier this summer, the investigation of two executives of a State owned oil company [5]was also announced. [Continue reading]

China holds Tibetan livelihood to ransom to secure political stability

Title page of the temporary regulation passed by Diru County government

Title page of the temporary regulation passed by Diru County government

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) recently published an update on the escalating repression in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in the Tibetan province of Kham.[i] The report quoted a source within Tibet who said that in addition to the continuing arrest and disappearance of Tibetans in Diru County for protesting Chinese policies including against mining activities, local government had issued a temporary regulation prohibiting “freedom of movement, speech and religion.”

The report mentioned that failure to abide by these regulations would result in severe punishments for the Tibetans, such as “dismissal from the monastery, cancellation of welfare provisions, and prohibiting the harvesting of the prized caterpillar fungus.” TCHRD has received scanned copies of the Tibetan version of the regulation. Due to the difficulty and risk involved in getting the regulation out of Tibet, TCHRD’s source was unable to scan the complete regulation.

The original regulation includes 4 chapters and 26 articles mainly focusing on the cracking down on separatism, the “Dalai clique”, putting restrictions on participation in religious gathering such as the Kalachakra Empowerment given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in July 2014 in Ladakh in northern India. The regulation is referred to as “Information Handbook for the Enforcement of Two Separate Regulations issued by Diru County People’s Government” (Tib: diru mimang sizhung gi tenbep khag nyi kyi dril drak lad deb). According to the document, the regulation was passed in June 2014. Its subtitle encapsulates the essence of the regulation: “A temporary regulation on the illegal activities by participating, on one’s own [initiative], in the ‘Great Prayer Festivals’, through crossing the national boundaries, creating and spreading rumors in the public, propagating harmful information, traveling to areas outside of your own locality to [engage in religious] study.” [Continue reading]

Monk released after 6 years of incarceration for ‘leaking state secrets’


A Tibetan monk was released recently after completing a six-year sentence for sharing information about human rights abuses perpetrated by Chinese security forces during the height of 2008 Tibetan uprising in Serthar (Ch: Seda) County, Kardze (Ch: … [Continue reading]

Senior Buddhist scholar arrested as repression escalates in restive Tibetan county

Senior Tibetan Buddhist scholar Tenzin Lhundrup arrested and disappeared in May 2014.

A senior Tibetan monk who is an accomplished Buddhist scholar was arbitrarily arrested and disappeared in May 2014 while he was giving a lecture on the “status of Tibetan language and nationality” (Tib. mi rigs dang skad yig ki gnas bab skor) to … [Continue reading]

TCHRD releases two new publications on ‘village democracy’ and UN human rights instruments

Cover of the special report on 'village democracy' in Tibetan

Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) proclaims that ‘all are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of law.’ Although the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has … [Continue reading]

FIRST-CUT SCREENING OF ‘THROUGH FLESH AND BONES’ : TCHRD Observes International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

DVD cover for 'Through Flesh and Bones: Stories of Torture and Survival in Tibet'

Today, 26 June 2014, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) joins the international community in commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this day, we honor and support those who have suffered … [Continue reading]

Tibetan writers Jangtse Donkho and Buddha released from prison

Jangtse Donkho

"The greatest mental suffering of Tibetans is not that there is no place to complain about their sufferings but that they are not allowed to complain." ~ Nyen Two Tibetan writers, Jangtse Donkho (pen name: Nyen/“The Wrathful”) and Buddha … [Continue reading]

TCHRD welcomes Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen’s release from prison

Dhondup Wangchen

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is pleased to learn that Dhondup Wangchen, the courageous filmmaker of Jigdral (“Leaving Fear Behind”) has been released after serving 6 years in prison. Dhondup Wangchen was released 5 … [Continue reading]

‘For the values of democracy and equality’: Remembering Tiananmen Heroes

Tiananmen protest on 4 June 1989 

“For the values of democracy and equality, many great men and women gave up their lives. On this earth beneath the vast sky, although freedom and democracy belong to the entire humanity, they will never belong to those who oppress by practicing … [Continue reading]

Plight of Tibetan ‘substitute teachers’ in Rebkong County

Tibetan 'substitute teachers' petition local government authorities on 30 April 2014. (Photo: Tibet Times)

In the People’s Republic of China, a ‘substitute teacher’ is someone who is employed to teach in a primary or middle school but is not on the official payroll and in the vast majority of cases are “high school graduates who did not go to a university … [Continue reading]