Tibet less free than China, among globally worst in latest Freedom House survey

Lhasa, capital city of Tibet.
Lhasa, capital city of Tibet.

(TibetanReview.net, Feb04, 2017) – Tibet under Chinese occupation rule is the least free country or territory in the world, with the situation there being better than only war-town Syria, said US-human rights organization Freedom House in its latest annual survey for 2016 released on Jan 17.

While the survey determined both China and Tibet to be “Not Free” in the “Freedom Status” category, China has scored 6.5 in the overall Freedom Rating (with 1 being most free and 7 least free), which is better than Tibet with a score of 7. Likewise, in Political Rights and Civil Liberties, China has scored 7 and 6 respectively; but Tibet has scored 7 in both. And in the Aggregate Score, China has scored 15, (0 = least free, 100 = most free), but Tibet’s score is much lower at just 1. Only war-torn Syria has lower score at -1.

The report, Freedom in the World 2017, says, “China received a downward trend arrow due to the chilling effect on private and public discussion, particularly online, generated by cybersecurity and foreign NGO laws, increased internet surveillance, and heavy sentences handed down to human rights lawyers, microbloggers, grassroots activists, and religious believers.”

On Tibet and Xinjiang—another territory under Chinese rule—the report says: “The (Chinese) government continued to impose conditions approaching martial law in Tibetan and Uighur-populated regions of the country, refusing to reassess failed policies of repression for these ethnic minority groups.”

Overall, the report found that a total of 67 countries had suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016 while 36 had registered gains.

The survey is based on the observance by countries of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. The declaration postulates that all the standards of rights laid down in that document apply to “all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.”


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