Nelson Mandela passed away on 5 December 2013. His state funeral on Sunday, 15 December is a time for the world to gather and remember Mandela’s life and legacy. Mandela will be forever remembered as the first black president of South Africa and a champion of non-violence who was instrumental not only in ending apartheid but also for uniting South Africa behind the rule of law, constitutionalism, and racial reconciliation after decades of minority rule by a racist regime. This legacy and the success of the “freedom struggle” against apartheid is an inspiration for Tibetans who live under a discriminatory regime that exists above the law and imposes its will through the heavy-handed use of force. [Read more...]
Two Tibetan singers have become the latest targets of China’s crackdown in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
Trinley Tsekar, 22, and Gonpo Tenzin, 25 have been arrested in separate incidents in late November 2013 in Diru County, according to information received by TCHRD.
Singer Trinley Tsekar was arrested on around 20 November 2013 when he visited the local driving school to get his driver’s license. Sources with contacts in Diru said Trinley Tsekar was arrested because he had distributed a DVD that contained songs he had sung on Tibetan identity, culture and language. One of his most famous DVDs is titled Ring of Unity (Tib: Thundil ki Along). Sources also said Trinley Tsekar was a well-known singer who used to express the pain and suffering of Tibetan people through his songs. He hails from Serkhang Village in Diru Township. His family members including his aged mother, Yangchen Dolker, wife and a child, have no idea where he is being held and in what condition. [Read more...]
China’s ongoing crackdown in enforcing the government’s ‘mass line’ policy has resulted in the sentencing of nine Tibetans in Shagchu (Ch: Xiaqu) town in Diru (Ch: Biru) County, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). All three identified so far have been charged of maintaining contacts with “Dalai clique” and for “engaging in activities to split the nation.”
Among the nine sentenced to varying terms is Topden, a nomad and a writer who writes under the pseudonym Dro Ghang Gah. Topden, 30, was arrested on 28 October 2013 and sentenced to five years in prison on 30 November 2013, according to information received by TCHRD. He hails from Village No. 4 in Shagchu town and has a wife, Dakar, and three young children. [Read more...]
Over a hundred Tibetan writers, poets, artists, intellectuals and cultural figures have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned since the 2008 uprising in Tibet. By daring to refute China’s official narrative of events surrounding the 2008 Uprising, these courageous Tibetans represent a significant new challenge to the Chinese authorities.
China is implementing mass surveillance and propaganda campaigns under the rubric of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s “mass line” policy in Tibet. New regulations on the internet and phone use have been implemented since 2011 to block information and censor communication. Book and journals are banned; websites shut down and online contents deleted and censored in real time by armies of Chinese government censors. China has vowed again to block all images, information and teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tibet by setting “nets in the sky” and “traps on the ground” . [Read more...]
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is pleased to announce the release of a new documentary movie titled ‘A Sacrifice’, shot and directed by Theo Hessing, a filmmaker based in London, UK.
The 26-minute long film depicts the life of Lhamo Kyab, a former political prisoner and now a political activist in exile. After his brief stay in exile, Lhamo returned to Tibet in 2006 with a mission to free his homeland from the Chinese occupation. He was subsequently arrested, imprisoned and tortured for three years in the dreaded Chushur Prison located in the outskirts of Lhasa city.
Apart from documenting the ordeals of a Tibetan political prisoner, the film captures the harrowing tale of self-immolation protests in Tibet and its impact on the Tibetan struggle for freedom. [Read more...]
Arbitrary arrests and detention have increased amid unusual intensification of state surveillance measures in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
A Tibetan man has been detained and disappeared in Sog (Ch: Suo) County, which neighbours the restive Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu Prefecture.
Information received by TCHRD confirms that Thupten Gyaltsen aka Thupgyal, 27, was detained by local Public Security Bureau officers on the night of 11 November 2013 from his home at Village No. 5 in Gyalchen (Ch: Jiaqin) Township in Sog County.
For the past few months, unrest has increased in many areas in Nagchu Prefecture due to the repressive nature of Chinese policies particularly the “mass line” campaign which has made Tibetans vulnerable to mass surveillance and propaganda campaigns. In particular, conditions in Diru County has deteriorated a great deal leading to the alarming rise in the number of arbitrary arrests and disappearances. [Read more...]
On 12 November 2013, China was elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council. The Human Rights Council (HRC) was created in 2006 and replaced the former UN Commission on Human Rights; it is the UN’s top human rights body and is made up of 47 Member States, elected by the UN General Assembly. The HRC has the mandate to strengthen the promotion and the protection of human rights worldwide as well as to address situations of human rights violations. One of its most important mechanisms is the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which assesses the compliance to human rights norms and standards by all UN Member States.
For the past months, there has been a great concern in the international community regarding China’s candidature to become part of the HRC. The UN Resolution 60/251 which created the HRC establishes in its article 8 that “when electing members of the Council, Member States shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and the protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto”. China has succeeded to win a seat at the Council, despite its poor human rights record and the calls from many civil society organisations to exclude China from becoming a member. [Read more...]
‘Occupy Movement’ in Tibet: Chinese police force elderly Tibetans to end sit-in demonstration against land grab in Ngaba
A group of 16 elderly Tibetans has been forced to end a month-long sit-in demonstration against appropriation of their land following intimidation by local police in Village No. 1 in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.
According to information received by TCHRD, the group of demonstrators represents 16 families in Village No. 1 whose land, spanning 40 mu (one mu equals 67 square meters of land), had been seized in 1986 after local government promised to provide government jobs to the affected families. The promises made by the government never materialised leaving the families more impoverished than before.
On 14 September 2013, the affected families submitted a petition to local authorities making three key demands. The petition was written in Chinese language and bore the thumbprints of the 16 elderly Tibetans whose names are Chindrong, Pugo, Zonpo, Detso Kyi, Muney, Tsekyi, Peltse, Tenpa Gyaltsen, Phulkyi, Nak Dhonkho, Jhakho, Dhonkho, Norkho, Choedup, Kelsang Sonam, Kundup (names transliterated from their Chinese versions). [Read more...]
This week, China issued a white paper titled “Development and Progress of Tibet” which contained stunning claims of improved situation inside Tibet. Indeed the release of the white paper on the day of China’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council was a strategic move. However, if China thought that a mere white paper filled with omissions, human rights doublespeak and calculated obfuscation would help blunt criticisms against its egregious human rights record in Tibet, it turned out to be just another exercise in self-delusion.
Like its white papers on Tibet issued in the past, the latest one begins by distorting not just the current reality of Tibet, but also Tibet’s history, denying its distinct identity as a nation and civilisation having its cultural influence beyond its Himalayan borders – in regions and countries as diverse as Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Baltistan, Kalmykia, Mongolia and so on. [Read more...]