Human rights situation worsening in Tibet, says NGO

Thu, Jan 13 2011 13:00 IST | 275 Views | Add your comment
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Dharamsala, Jan 13

The human rights situation has worsened in Tibet, with the Chinese government cracking down on singers, writers and environmentalists, an NGO of Tibetan exiles said here Thursday.

"The Chinese government laid policies to enforce a systematic crackdown on influential Tibetans like singers, writers and environmentalists," said Ugen Tenzin, executive director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

He said repression had intensified throughout last year.

"As of Dec 30, 2010, there are 831 known political prisoners in Tibet, of whom 360 are known to have been legally convicted by courts and 12 are serving life imprisonment term," Tenzin said citing a TCHRD report "Tibet's 2010 Annual Human Rights".

"During 2010, 188 known Tibetans have been arrested and detained, of whom 71 have already been sentenced by the courts," Tenzin said.

The 90-page report, made public here Wednesday, documents violation of rights in Tibet in areas of civil and political, religious freedom, education and right to subsistence.

According to the report, since 2008 more than 60 Tibetan writers, bloggers, intellectuals and cultural figures have been arrested.

It criticised the Chinese government's plan to replace Tibetan with Mandarin as the medium instruction in Tibet.

"The Tibetans have been calling for the preservation of Tibetan language as an identity of the Tibetan race and the foundation of religion and culture which connects to the wider issue of cultural and ethnic identity...In light of China's constitution, national and international laws, the state of the People's Republic of China has the responsibility to protect the Tibetan language," it said.

"The state should have a bold vision in resolving the issue of Tibet through dialogue with the Dalai Lama in order to ensure a stable environment wherein the people of Tibet and China live harmoniously," the report added.

TCHRD is a Tibetan NGO that investigates the human rights situation in Tibet and presents its report internationally at various forums.

The Dalai Lama and his supporters fled Tibet in 1959 and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa. He has since headed the Tibetan government-in-exile from here.

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