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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Member of Parliament questions Canadian government about political prisoners in Tibet

July 3, 2017

Canada Tibet Committee, June 30, 2017 – Canadian Member of Parliament Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke) has submitted a written request to Global Affairs Canada, asking for detailed information about efforts undertaken to defend Tibetan political prisoners. 

The request is based on new guidelines adopted by the Government on Canada in December 2016 which lay out official policy for supporting human rights defenders around the world.  The guidelines emphasize that support for human rights defenders is a priority responsibility of Canadian embassies and missions abroad. [1]

In his request, Mr. Garrison asks specifically about how the new guidelines have been applied in the cases of four Tibetan prisoners:  the Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima; language activist Tashi Wangchuk; blogger Shokjang; and medical doctor Yeshe Choedron. [2]

Mr. Garrison highlights the case of Tibet’s Panchen Lama who was taken into custody by Chinese authorities more than 22 years ago at age 6 and who has not been seen since.  Garrison requests clarification about what efforts have been made by the Government of Canada to encourage investigative missions to China by relevant UN human rights procedures including the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, in order to obtain updated information about the Panchen Lama case. [3]

Randall Garrison is Vice-Chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT) representing the New Democratic Party.  Research assistance for this project was provided by PFT intern Tenzin Namdol.

The Government is required to respond to MP written questions within 45 days. 

[1] Voices at Risk: Canada guidelines on supporting human rights defenders -

[2] Order paper question Q-1076,

[3] Order paper question Q-1070,

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