TCHRD calls on businesses to refrain from contributing to human rights abuses in Tibet

code of conduct

On 29 June the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) released a code of conduct for businesses operating in Tibet. The code of conduct highlights the major human rights issues in Tibet and their human rights obligations. In 35 articles divided into eight categories, the code of conduct outlines how businesses can avoid contributing to or participating in human rights abuses in Tibet.

The code of conduct does not make any new demands or place extra requirements on businesses operating in Tibet. Instead, the code of conduct draws upon existing legal standards and standards accepted and endorsed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since their release in 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights defined businesses’ human rights obligations. The Guiding Principles have been endorsed by the PRC. The code of conduct also draws heavily on the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Imports and Exports (CCCMC) Guidelines for Chinese businesses operating outside of the PRC. Even though the CCCMC Guidelines are not official government standards, they have been endorsed by the PRC and held as an example of the PRC’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.

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TCHRD concerned over detention of Tibetan man for celebrating Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday

Photos like this of Tibetans celebrating Dalai Lama's 80th birthday in Tibet have been shared on microblogging sites and voice messaging services.

Photos like this of Tibetans celebrating Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in Tibet have been shared on microblogging sites and voice messaging services.

Almost two weeks before the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday on 6 July, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has started preventing public celebrations and detaining people for sharing photos online. Tsering Dondrub, 25, was detained for posting images of the Tibetan flag and the Dalai Lama on WeChat. It is unknown where he is being detained or how he is being treated. The secret detention of Tibetans arrested for exercising their human rights is common and family members only learn about the specifics of the case and see their imprisoned relatives at their trial, if it is ever held.

The detention of Tsering Dondrub, follows established patterns of human rights violations in Tibet. WeChat is closely watched by the PRC and Tibetans can be arrested and given severe prison sentences for sharing material on WeChat. In the weeks leading up to the Dalai Lama’s birthday PRC officials are tightening already existing restrictions in Tibet. Tibetans in Tsering Dondrub’s village in Rebgong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province were prevented from participating in a variety of events on 21 June to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s birth year. (According to Tibetan lunar calendar, the Dalai Lama turned 80 on 21 June.) The public was also banned from attending events at monasteries and could have their phones confiscated and searched. The detention of Tsering Dondrub may well be the tip of the iceberg, and more Tibetans may have been detained or are in danger of getting detained since it has increasingly become a standard practice for the local Chinese authorities to punish Tibetans when the world is not watching.

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Crackdown widens as Chinese government detains husband of dead Tibetan self-immolator

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

Chinese authorities have arbitrarily detained husband of Sangyal Tso, the mother of two who died of self-immolation late last month in Dokhog (Ch: Daogao) Township in Chone (Ch: Zhuoni) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

According to information received by TCHRD, on 10 June 2015 police detained Tadrin Wangyal, husband of Sangay Tso, along with a monk named Trinley Gyatso, a resident of Gyache village in Nyinpa Township, Chone County. The security officers who carried out the detentions gave no reasons but local Tibetan residents speculate that they have been arrested on account of the police’s suspicion that they were connected to Sangay Tso’s self-immolation.

With the detention of Tadrin Wangyal and Trinley Gyatso, the number of known Tibetans detained following Sangyal Tso’ self-immolation has grown to five including three other monks who, as TCHRD reported earlier, were detained following the self-immolation. The three monks are Tenzin Soepa, a nephew of Sangyal Tso, and two other monks, Samten Gyatso and Lobsang Tenzin. All five of them are being held at a detention center in Chone County.

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China’s white paper on human rights is significant for its omissions

Photo credit: eureporter.co

Photo credit: eureporter.co

On 8 June 2015, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released a white paper on its human rights record. Consistent with the previous 11 white papers on human rights, the most recent white paper attempts to hide the PRC’s human rights violations. Previous White Papers have argued that the PRC deserves exceptions from universally accepted human rights. This exception is claimed by adding “Chinese characteristics” to universally accepted values. Most often, Chinese characteristics involve emphasizing the rights of communities at the expense of the individual. Because human rights are needed to protect the most vulnerable, excusing the suffering of a few individuals for the “greater good” cannot be justified.

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Two more monks secretly detained following Tibetan mother’s self-immolation

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

Chinese authorities have deepened the crackdown on local Tibetans following the self-immolation of Sangyal Tso, a Tibetan mother of two, who died of self-immolation protest late last month in Dokhog (Ch: Daogao) Township in Chone (Ch: Zhuoni) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

According to reliable information received by TCHRD, two monks were detained in the first week of June from Choephel Shing Tashi Choekorling Monastery based in Dokhog Township. Samten Gyatso, a student at the monastery’s traditional medical college was detained on 4 June and taken to an undisclosed location. Lobsang Tenzin was a student of Buddhist dialectics college at the monastery until his sudden and arbitrary detention on 5 June.

Both monks are in their 20s and hail from the same village as Sangyal Tso, who was born and raised in Meru Sipa Village in Nyinpa (Ch: Niba) Township, Chone County. There is no information on the current condition and well-being of the monks. [Read more…]

Preview of Tibetan writer Dhi Lhaden’s new book in translation

Tibetan writer and activist Lhaden. (File/TCHRD)

Tibetan writer and activist Lhaden. (File/TCHRD)

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is pleased to present an exclusive preview of Dhi Lhaden’s new book titled ‘The Art of Passive Resistance’, now translated into English.

Dhi Lhaden is a Tibetan monk, intellectual and writer born in 1980 at Dida Village in Pema (Ch: Baima) County, Golog (Ch: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Qinghai Province), in the Tibetan province of Amdo. Originally named as Lhaden (popularly called Dhi Lhaden), he is also known by his ordained name, Thubten Lobsang Lhundup. At 11, he was admitted to his local monastery and four years later joined Serthar Buddhist Institute in Serta County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Sichuan Province). At 28, he went to Lhasa for further studies at Drepung and Sera Monastery but had to cut his studies short.

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China detains nephew of dead Tibetan self-immolator, pressures family members to call it ‘natural death’

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

A nephew of a Tibetan mother who died of self-immolation protest last week was suddenly detained without any explanation by the local police in Dokhog (Ch: Daogao) Township in Chone (Ch: Zhuoni) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Tenzin Soepa, a monk from the traditional Tibetan medical section of Choephel Shing Tashi Choekorling Monastery, was detained by local authorities on 28 May, a day after his aunt Sangyal Tso died of self-immolation protest in front of a Chinese government office near the monastery, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Local Tibetans are clueless as to the sudden arbitrary detention of Tenzin Soepa although a source told TCHRD that the monk was made a scapegoat as part of a crackdown on self-immolation protest staged by his aunt Sangyal Tso. [Read more…]

Tibetan mother dies of self-immolation protest in front of Chinese government office

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

Mother of two, Sangyal Tso, died of self-immolation protest.

A Tibetan woman set herself on fire and died immediately after in Dokhog (Ch: Daogao) Township in Chone (Ch: Zhuoni) County, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Sangyal Tso, 36, a mother of two, staged the self-immolation protest at around 4 am (local time) on 27 May, in front of a Chinese government office, which is located near Choephel Shing Tashi Choekorling Monastery in Dokhog Township.

Since the incident occurred early morning, no confirmed information is available on the exact slogans Sangyal Tso shouted during her self-immolation protest. She died instantly after the protest and the police took her body to Tsoe (Ch: Hezuo) city, capital of Kanlho Prefecture.

Police also arrived at the home of Sangyal Tso’s parents who were interrogated and restrictions were placed on their movement. Sources say moments before her self-immolation, Sangyal Tso had communicated on WeChat voice messaging service at about 3.30 am, following which her parents contacted friends and relatives to find out about their daughter’s whereabouts but in vain. [Read more…]

Tibetan man dies of self-immolation protest amid heightened repression

SWAT team with full riot gear performs drills to intimidate local Tibetans

SWAT team with full riot gear performs drills to intimidate local Tibetans

A Tibetan man from Khangsar township in Tawu (Ch: (Daofu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, passed away after his peaceful solo self-immolation protest to challenge the continuous and yet intensified repression in the region and Tibet at large.

As per the information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), at around 8:00 pm on 20 May 2015, Tenzin Gyatso, 34, died after setting himself ablaze near a bridge close to a Chinese government office. Soon after his self-immolation, armed police arrived at the scene and started to beat the Tibetans who had gathered near the site and were shouting slogans, and also arrested a few of them.

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Tibetan singer sentenced to prison after prolonged secret detention

Gonpo Tenzin before detention (left) and wearing a surgical mask in a hospital.

Gonpo Tenzin before detention (left) and wearing a surgical mask in a hospital.

A well-known Tibetan singer was recently sentenced to prison after almost a year and a half of secret detention in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, in the Tibetan province of Kham.

Gonpo Tenzin, about 27, was sentenced on 15 April 2015 to three years and six months in prison, in addition to deprivation of political rights for four years, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

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