(TibetanReview.net, Feb14’16) – Two US Congressmen have on Feb 4 expressed deep concern over China’s persecution of Tibetans for alleged homicide on the basis of their family, community or social connections with fellow Tibetans who had carried out self-immolation protests against Chinese rule. The Congressmen, Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, have, in a letter to the Chinese Ambassador in Washington DC, requested information about the number, names and whereabouts of Tibetan people who had been detained, convicted or whose fate remained not known as a result of their alleged affiliation to a self-immolation.
They have also requested that the International Red Cross be allowed to visit those still in prison or in custody. And they have urged Beijing to reverse the policy of criminalization and nullify the resulting convictions.
At least 143 Tibetans are known to have carried out protest self-immolations in Chinese ruled Tibet since 2009, with most of them having succumbed to their burns. Most of them had called for an end to the repressive policies implemented by the Chinese Government in Tibet and for the return from exile of Tibet’s spiritual leader, of the Dalai Lama.