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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

2011 Annual Report: Human Rights Situation in Tibet

January 24, 2012

23 January 2012

TCHRD, Dharamsala


The series of self-immolation protests involving Tibetan monks, nuns,
and lay people did not occur in a vacuum. Ever since the 2008 unrest
in Tibet, the Chinese government’s control of Tibetan life has become
significantly restricted. The self-immolations are symptomatic of the
greater plight that Tibetans find themselves in throughout the Tibetan
plateau.


These are some of the conclusions drawn in the 2011 Annual Report on
Human Rights Situation in Tibet released by the Tibetan Centre for
Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) here today.


Despite the increasing frequency of self-immolations, the Chinese
government refuses to admit any responsibility and has instead
increased the level of oppression in Tibet, all the while continuing
to violate its international human rights obligations, states the
report.



The report warns that unless the Chinese authorities ease the
restrictions placed on the Tibetan people, and engage in sincere
dialogue aimed at addressing their grievances, there are serious
concerns that self-immolation will remain the only avenue for Tibetans
to voice their desperation and frustration.


As the report points out, while the cost of exercising one’s rights in
Tibet may be great, it is increasingly apparent that the cost of
remaining under the rule of Beijing can be far greater.


 “The 17 self-immolation protests and deaths in Tibet, including the
2009 self-immolation by Tibetan monk Tapey, pose important questions
on the nature of Chinese rule in Tibet,” says the executive director
of TCHRD, Ms Tsering Tsomo. “The sooner Chinese government realize
this, the better: When the people you rule chose death, you know you
have some serious housecleaning to do before you continue with your
global soft power charm offensive.”


As the Chinese government continues to perpetrate significant abuses
of Tibetan rights and freedoms, there is a corresponding resistance
among the Tibetan people as evidenced by relentless protests and
self-immolations. The government in Beijing has missed many
opportunities to listen to Tibetan concerns and acknowledge its
responsibility in fuelling the fiery protests. Self-immolation as a
form of public protest has now spread to Tibet Autonomous Region and
Qinghai Province because the Chinese authorities reacted with force
and violence to suppress the Tibetan voice.



The Chinese government must realize that naked force and police power
will only prolong this vicious cycle of repression and resistance,
benefitting no one, least of all in achieving Beijing’s hallowed goals
of harmony and stability.


The report also sheds light on the state of religious freedom, the
ever-widening net of state censorship, education and language rights,
torture of detainees and political prisoners, enforced disappearances,
flawed development model, environmental destruction, and the
consistent violation of civil and political rights of the Tibetan
people.


TCHRD estimates that currently, there are over 830 known political prisoners 
in Tibet, out of which 403 are known to be legally convicted by courts. 
In 2011 alone, (as of 15 December) 230 known Tibetans have been arrested 
and detained.


The 2011 Annual Report is available in both English and Tibetan
language and can be downloaded free-of-cost soon at www.tchrd.org
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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