Tibetan businessman detained incommunicado after staging lone protest in Kardze

Passang Wangdu has been detained incommunicado following his lone protest.

Passang Wangchuk has been detained incommunicado following his lone protest.

A Tibetan businessman has been detained incommunicado for staging a lone protest in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) County in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Sichuan Province), according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Passang Wanghuk aka Ngodrug, was arrested on 4 October 2014 following his protest against the Chinese government at the main market in Kardze County.

“In front of a huge assembled crowd at the main market in Kardze [County], Passang Wangchuk staged a protest against the Chinese government at around 10.50 am Saturday, 4 October 2014,” a source told TCHRD.

Passang Wangchuk was holding a white banner, emblazoned with slogans demanding human rights, freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. [Read more…]

TCHRD highlights Tibetan human rights issues at UN

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Tsering Tsomo addresses a protest rally in front the UN to focus attention on the recent self-immolation of Lhamo Tashi.

The director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), Ms. Tsering Tsomo, attended the 27th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) at the United Nations in Geneva from 14 to 24 September 2014, to draw the Council’s attention to the pressing human rights issues inside Tibet. On the sidelines of the session, Ms. Tsomo met and briefed various UN Special Procedures mandate holders, diplomats and NGO representatives on the current situation in Tibet and strongly appealed for their support.

In addition to delivering an oral statement (a video of the statement is available here starting at 49:27) on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples at the HRC session, Ms. Tsomo held an hour-long briefing for assistants to seven UN Special Procedure mandate holders. On 23 September 2014, Ms. Tsomo met with assistants to Special Rapporteur on religious freedom or belief; Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion; Special Rapporteur on Torture; Special Rapporteur on right to education; Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

[Read more…]

Torture, Tibet and the PLA Brawl

Photo Credit:Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit:Wikimedia Commons

On 24 August, 40 Chinese paramilitary trainees were hospitalized in what is being described as a brawl between the drill instructors and their high school aged trainees. Social media in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was divided over whether to blame the incident on the drill instructors or the trainees. Regardless of who is blamed for the brawl it demonstrated that even trainees and other members of the security organizations are treated brutally by security organizations. A similar incident of abuse of trainees went viral in December 2013. In that case, a video showed eight People’s Armed Police officers beating five trainees.

By the standards of how Tibetans and other ethnic minorities are treated, these events are relatively minor. Less than two weeks before the brawl, Chinese paramilitary forces fired live ammunition into a crowd of Tibetans protesting the detention of a respected village leader. Five Tibetans died after being shot, detained, denied medical care, and tortured. [Read more…]

TCHRD calls on new UN rights commissioner to make Tibet a priority

UNHCHR

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein replaced Navi Pillay as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) would like to welcome Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to the position of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which he assumed on Monday, 1 September.

High Commissioner Al Hussein comes to office when expectations for what the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) can do are high and the threat to human rights is growing. As High Commissioner Al Hussein’s predecessor, Ms. Navi Pillay, is the most powerful single voice advocating for human rights in the world and she was willing to confront politically powerful States, including China, over their human rights policies. [Read more…]

TCHRD hosts seminar on Nepal, China and Tibet at JNU

Mr Jayadeva Ranade speaking at the seminar flanked by Dr Rajesh Kharat, John Gaudette and Tsering Tsomo

Mr Jayadeva Ranade speaking at the seminar flanked by Dr Rajesh Kharat, John Gaudette and Tsering Tsomo

On 22 and 23 August, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), working with the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Tibetan Students Forum, hosted a seminar on the Nepal-Tibet Relations and the Sino-Tibet Conflict. The two-day seminar gave the 100 attendees an opportunity to hear from and discuss with Indian and Tibetan government officials, academics, and students.

According to Tsering Tsomo, the executive director of TCHRD, the idea behind this seminar was to bring together students, academics, and practitioners to draw attention to some of the important, but frequently overlooked, issues regarding the Tibetan community. “The aim for the two-day seminar was to better understand and improve the situation for Tibetans in Nepal as well as to hear from emerging Tibetan scholars and their perspectives on the Sino-Tibetan conflict.” [Read more…]

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

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

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 signed many UN treaties and conventions, it has consistently failed to implement and abide by them, and has resorted to its domestic laws and regulations to violate the basic and legitimate rights of its citizens.

As a member of the United Nations, the PRC is under legal obligation to educate its citizens, and implement within its territorial boundary, the laws, conventions and treaties of the UN. Instead of raising popular awareness about international human rights law, more emphasis is put on repressive domestic laws promoted and propagated under forced education campaigns such as ‘legal education’ or ‘patriotic education’.

To counter this, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), Dharamsala, has come out with two new publications titled “Nyamdrel Gyaltsog Ki Trim Yig Khag” (‘A Collection of United Nations’ Conventions) and “Sota Chen Ki Mangtso” (‘Monitored Democracy’). [Read more…]

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

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

DVD cover of ‘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 unjust, cruel and degrading forms of physical and mental torture.  We also express our deep concern over the use of torture against persons exercising their basic rights and freedoms.

We at TCHRD reaffirm our commitment to fulfilling the goal of the UN General Assembly Resolution 52/149 passed 12 December 1997, which proclaimed 26 June as ‘the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.’ That goal is the total eradication of torture and the effective implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force on 26 June 1987.

As declared by the United Nations, torture is a crime under international law. It is a crime against humanity, ‘one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings,’ because torture aims to annihilate the victim’s personality, denying him or her the inherent dignity of human being. Torture strikes at the core of the physical and psychological integrity of a human being. Furthermore, the practice of torture often triggers heightened levels of human rights violations such as disappearances, extra judicial killings and genocide. [Read more…]

FIGHT THE BLACKOUT IN TIBET: World Press Freedom Day Campaign

wpfd eng poster‘Fight the Blackout’ campaign aims to highlight and end the extreme restrictions put on independent journalists and human rights monitors to visit and assess the ground situation in Tibet as Tibetans continue to self-immolate in protest and become victims of human rights abuses.

An initiative of Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), ‘Fight the Blackout’ campaign has been active online mobilizing support from the civil society including individuals and groups and reminding the larger humanity about the significance of the World Press Freedom Day, observed globally every year on 3 May, a day for governments to remember their duty to uphold the right to freedom of expression, a fundamental human right; a day to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty; and a day to remember the restrictions imposed upon press freedom throughout the world, including in Tibet. [Read more…]

TCHRD commemorates 25th birthday of Tibet’s disappeared Panchen Lama

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the XIth Panchen Lama of Tibet

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the XIth Panchen Lama of Tibet

Today marks the 25th birthday of the XIth Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, one of the most important spiritual leaders of Tibet, who disappeared when he was 6 years old.[i] This is the 19th year in succession when Tibetans have to commemorate the birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima in his absence.

On 14 May 1995, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a son of nomadic parents, as the reincarnate Panchen Lama. A day later, the boy and his parents were disappeared from their home in Lhari County in Nagchu Prefecture in Central Tibet.[ii]  The Chinese government initially denied allegations that he had been disappeared by Chinese government agents. A few months after the disappearance, Chinese government appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as its own Panchen Lama. [Read more…]

12 Years Too Many: Release Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on medical parole

Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) observes with deep concern the 12th anniversary of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s arbitrary arrest on 7 April 2002 which eventually led to life imprisonment.

Popularly known as A-Nga Tashi, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a highly-respected lama in Lithang County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Kham. Rinpoche is renowned for his active involvement in the restoration of Tibetan culture and religion, social welfare activities and his bold statements about repressive Chinese policies in Tibet. On 5 December 2002, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and his nephew Lobsang Dhondup were sentenced to death with two years’ reprieve and death sentence respectively. Lobsang Dhondup was executed but Rinpoche’s suspended death sentence was commuted to life due to international pressure. [Read more…]