(TibetanReview.net, Mar10’23) – Tibet has ranked among the least free countries or regions in the world, sharing the bottom spot with South Sudan and Syria, in the latest ranking released by the US-based human rights group Freedom House Mar 9.
The group said in its annual Freedom in the World 2023 report that the number of countries to score zero for freedom of expression rose during the year to 33 from 14, with media freedom coming under pressure in at least 157 countries and territories during 2022.
Freedom House’s global freedom tests a country or region’s scores for political rights as well as civil liberties.
Tibet has scored minus 2 out of a possible 40 for political rights and 3 out of a possible 60 for civil liberties.
And so, Tibet had a global freedom overall score of just 1 out of a possible 100. This is the third straight year that Tibet lagged at the bottom of the rankings. (Read)
South Sudan and Syria have that same overall score, each scoring minus 3 for political rights and 4 for civil liberties.
The report has noted that while both ethnic Chinese and Tibetans lacked basic rights in Tibet, “the authorities are especially rigorous in suppressing any signs of dissent among Tibetans, including manifestations of Tibetan religious beliefs and cultural identity.”
Concerning key issues which dominated the rights situation in Tibet in 2022, the report has noted that they included China using an outbreak of Covid-19 to increase repression against Tibetans, sending thousands of people to overcrowded and unsanitary facilities where the authorities refused to segregate the healthy from the sick. The situation was so bad that at least five Tibetans committed suicide by jumping off mass quarantine sites or locked-down residential buildings, the report has noted.
The survey report has also referred to a report from the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Canada, which said that China may have gathered DNA samples over a period of six years from as much as one-third of the total population of Tibet Autonomous Region, which spans most of western Tibet.
Overall, Freedom House said that global freedoms declined for the 17th consecutive year in 2022 as the struggle for democracy approached a turning point amid a curtailment of freedom of expression in countries such as Russia and Iran.