REPORT: Tibet situation marked by continued rights restrictions as China extended repression worldwide

Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth speaks during a press conference to launch their 2020 World Report at the New York United Nations headquarters in New York City, Jan. 14, 2020. (Photo courtesy: AFP)

(, Jan16’20) – Calling the Chinese government a threat to human rights around the world, New York-based Human Rights Watch has on Jan 14 said the situation in the case of Tibet was marked by continued “severe restrictions on religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly” of Tibetans. Releasing its 652-page annual report for 2019, which reviews human rights practices in nearly 100 countries, the rights group has also referred to the worsening situation in Nepal, including over Tibet-related activities.

Referring to the intensification of “sinicization policies”, the report says Tibet’s monastic populations were being subjected to “legal” exams to test their competence in political re-education. In particular, it notes that senior religious figures had been subjected to political re-education to require them to endorse China’s state policies on the selection of the next Dalai Lama.

The report, which covers China and Tibet separately under a common head, also refers to wrongful arrest and torture of Tibetans who lawfully asked for their economic and cultural rights to be respected. Nine Tibetans were sentenced for raising their voices against the forceful land grabs by the Chinese authorities in Qinghai, the report says.

The report also refers to the eviction and re-education camp detention of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns from Yachen Gar Monastery in a historically Tibetan populated region of Sichuan Province as a part of a massive demolition campaign being continued to be carried out there.

On Nepal, the World Report 2020 notes that the government was rolling out a series of laws to undermine freedom of expression while denying justice to victims of conflict-era abuses. It accuses Kathmandu of bending to Chinese demands by prohibiting domestic freedom of expression in relation to Tibet. It notes that during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Oct 2019, at least two Nepali citizens were arrested for wearing clothing that featured a Tibetan flag.

Having created a vast surveillance state in a bid to achieve total control of people’s lives in the People’s Republic of China, “the Chinese government is (now) trying to extend that censorship to the rest of the world,” the group’s executive director Kenneth Roth has said.

“The Chinese government … does not think twice about twisting arms to protect its image in international forums,” and the “UN has been a key target,” the report said.


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