(TibetanReview.net, Mar06, 2014) – Independent human rights experts working as Special Rapporteurs to the UN under its Special Procedures have on Feb 24 released a joint report compiling a series of communications they had sent to the government of the People’s Republic of China, expressing serious concern over the human rights situation in Tibet. The report was released ahead of the opening of the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Special Rapporteurs are mandated to present reports and give advices to the UN on specific themes of human rights or on particular countries of concern.
The communications report shows that the Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of expression; Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Freedom of religion; Summary executions; Torture and Violence against women had written to China on Jul 22, 2013, enquiring about reports of “excessive use of force in dispersing a peaceful religious gathering of Tibetans celebrating the birthday of the Dalai Lama.” This related to an incident on Jul 6, 2013, when Chinese security forces used teargas and opened fire on a large crowd of Tibetans, including monks and nuns, who had gathered to mark the birthday of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader at the Machen Pomra mountain in Dawu (Chinese: Daofu) County of Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Many Tibetans were critically injured, including due to severe beatings, and detained.
The report also shows that in two separate communications sent in Jun 2013, the UN Special Rapporteurs for Arbitrary detention; Freedom of expression; Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and Human rights defenders had expressed concern over the arrest and sentencing of a student named Wangchuk Dorje who had led a peaceful protest in Nov 2012, calling for “freedom to study the Tibetan language, equality between nationalities, and the return of the Dalai Lama” from exile. This related to an incident on Nov 9, 2012, when thousands of Tibetan students hit the streets in Malho prefecture’s Rebgong County, Qinghai Province, demanding that Tibetan, rather than Chinese, be continued as their language of educational curricula.
Wangchuk Dorje as well as at least eight other students were later given jail sentences ranging from three to four years by the Gonghe (Tibetan: Chabcha) County People’s Court in Hainan (Tsolho) Prefecture, on Apr 10, 2013.