Informations on United Nations Human Rights Council by Ms Kalden Tsomo
Zürich: On Saturday 8th June 2019 during the Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Liechtenstein`s Boardmember (Thumis) meeting, Ms Kalden Tsomo from Tibet Bureau Geneva presented information regarding Human rights situation in Tibet and United Nations human rights council ( UNHRC) and The Geneva summit of Human rights and democracy. She also explained that United Nations human rights Council is well aware of the urgent human rights situation in Tibet which requires Global attention.
She presented brief history of United Nations human rights Council: The United Nations Human Rights Council is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. It was founded on March 2006. From the 193 members of United Nations Organization, the UNHRC consist of 47 members elected yearly by the General Assembly for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. This Council holds regular session three times a year i.e. on 28th June, 10th September and on 10th December.
For the last many years in a row, US think-tank Freedom House ranked Tibet among the worst places in the world for the denial of freedom. Situation in Tibet is much worse than Communist regime in North Korea. And to travel Tibet is much more difficult than to North Korea.
Ms.Tsering Woesar, a well known Tibetan blogger and writer wrote that Tibetans in Tibet need to visit more than 10 offices to get simple tourist visa in and abroad. She even quoted that: “Getting a passport is harder for a Tibetan than getting into heaven. This is one of those `preferential policies` given to us Tibetans by Chinese central government.”
Here are just some of the challenges faced by Tibetans as a result of China`s occupation:
POLITICAL OPPRESSION AND VIOLENCE
- Tibetans face intense surveillance in their daily lives, with security cameras, police checkpoints and party officials monitoring their movements and activities.
- Peaceful protests are suppressed with severe violence. Protesters are imprisoned, tortured and may even shot.
- China has repeated violated UN conventions through extensive use of torture against Tibetan political prisoners.
- Prisons in Tibet are full of people detained for simply expressing their desire for freedom. They are arrested and convicted for peaceful acts, such as waving the Tibetan flag, calling for the return of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama and sending information about events in Tibet abroad.
- Many Tibetans are imprisoned on unclear or unspecified charges, their families not informed of their whereabouts. They are denied access to proper legal support and face trials that do not respect international standards of justice.
- Tibetans charged with “separatism” (acts intended to divide or damage the Chinese state) can face sentences up to and including the death penalty.
- Even children face abuses of their freedom and human rights.
CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS SUPPRESSION
- The Tibetan flag and national anthem are banned.
- Tibetan Buddhism is seen as a threat to the occupying Chinese state and possessing Dalai Lama images or teachings can result in imprisonment and torture.
- Chinese officials closely monitor and control religious activity at monasteries and nunneries.
- Since 2016, Larung Gar, the biggest Buddhist institute in Tibet and indeed in the world has been the target of a major assault. Thousands of individuals have been evicted and thousands of homes demolished and these removals continue today.
- Writers, singers, artists and teachers are jailed for celebrating Tibetan national identity and for any criticism of China`s rule.
- Chinese is the language of schooling and business, disadvantaging Tibetans and threatening their mother tongue.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION
- Ethnic Han Chinese Communist Party members hold almost all top government, police and military positions in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other areas of Tibet.
- Chinese has encouraged Chinese migration into Tibet, making Tibetans a minority in many parts of their own country.
- Travel for Tibetans is restricted, with police checkpoints monitoring movement and permits required to visit sensitive religious areas.
- Tibetans have no automatic right to a Chinese passport, making international travel difficult and often impossible. Tibetans who are caught trying to escape Tibet face brutality from the authorities.
- China is using Tibet`s rich natural resources including gold, copper and water to fuel its economic and industrial expansion.
- Its exploitation disregards the needs and desire of local Tibetan communities and causes pollution and destruction of the landscape. Tibetan`s frequent protests against the consequences of mining, damming and other resource extraction are often met with violence and repression by security forces.
- To enable access to resources and to improve control over Tibetans, China has moved more than two million Tibetan nomads from the land they have lived off for generations to barrack-like urban settlements. Without the skills to obtain work in an urban environment, nomads face poverty, unemployment and social exclusion.
- Reporters without Borders ranked China 176 out of the 180 countries on its Press Freedom Index 2017. Professor Carole McGranahan has also stated that there are more foreign Journalists in North Korea than Tibet.
- China attempts to control the spread of information inside Tibet through strict monitoring and censorship over social media, email and telephone communications. Communications are often blacked out after protests and security incidents.
- China also strictly controls the flow of information out of Tibet. Foreign journalists, human rights organizations and diplomats are rarely allowed entry into Tibet and, when they are, they are closely chaperoned by Chinese officials. Tibetans who share information inside Tibet or attempts to send information outside Tibet face arrest and lengthy sentences.
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