Activists from Tibet, East Turkestan and China protesting against China on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2022. Photo: file

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Dharamshala, India – On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, Tibetans and activists from around the world held protests against China's violations of human rights in Tibet, raising slogans such as "Stop the torture in Tibet, stop taking Tibetan DNA, we demand human rights, UNO, we want justice".

Tibetan Women's Association, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet, organised a protest against China's violation of the human rights of Tibetans in Tibet, at the main square of Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, HP, India, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2022.

The protests took place in India, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, England, Spain, Taiwan and Japan, etc. While protesting, holding banners that read: "Stop torture in Tibet, stop taking Tibetan DNA, we demand human rights, the UN, we want justice", etc.

The three Tibetan organisations issued a statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day, saying that, "Today, though we commemorate this day as Human Rights Day, Tibetans are forbidden to express their view and thoughts that go against Chinese propaganda openly, and creatively. Tibetan writers, intellectuals, and singers are not allowed to have open discussions about the conditions of Tibetans in Tibet or express any political and religious views. Tibet's fragile ecosystem is at risk of the series of wrong development programs by China in Tibet. The environmental situation is devastating."

"The UN drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. The concept of human rights is a fundamental part of modern society. It is the belief that all people, regardless of race, gender, age, or social status, should have certain rights and freedoms. These include the right to life, liberty, and security of person, freedom from slavery and torture, the right to an education, and freedom of expression and assembly. Human rights are universal, meaning they apply to everyone, everywhere. They are also inalienable, meaning they cannot be taken away," they said.

"However, the Chinese communist regime deprives citizens of Tibet, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolia, Taiwan, and Uyghur rights on a sweeping scale and systematically curtails freedoms as a way to retain power. The Chinese Communist Party abuses human rights in Tibet, including arbitrary imprisonment, torture, forced labor, restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, the suppression of religious and cultural rights, and the systematic destruction of monasteries and monuments," it stated.

"People living under the rule of Xi Jinping face increasing restrictions on their civil liberties. People face the risk of being arbitrarily arrested and detained for their political views, and the government has increased its campaign of repression against religious and ethnic minorities," the statement stated.

"Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet by armed forces, in the 1949s, the Chinese Communist Party has stripped Tibetans off their basic human rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, annihilating the distinct identity of Tibetan and denying them their inherent dignity of being human despite widespread disapproval and criticism from the international community. Thus, according to the International Freedom House, Tibet is listed as the “World’s least Free Country” in the world," the organisation said.

"The United Nations has not taken any action against China over its human rights atrocities record as of 2021. The UN's main bodies, including the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, have passed several resolutions condemning Chinese human rights abuses, and have called for investigations and accountability. However, these resolutions are non-binding and have limited impact. China has also consistently opposed any proposed measures to hold it accountable for its human rights violations," they added.

Tibetan Youth Congress also released a statement on the occasion of human rights day and said, "Monastic institutions and Tibetan run schools, the nerve centers for preserving Tibetan language, have been frequent targets of Chinese repressive policies. We have recently witnessed the forcible eviction of monastics, demolition of monasteries, and closure of Tibetan-run schools without the consent of the concerned Tibetans. High-tech surveillance equipment have been installed in monastic institutions and schools, ensuring that the watchful eye of the state intrudes into the personal lives of Tibetans and closely follows their every move."

"With the forced closure of Tibetan schools, nearly one million Tibetan children have been forcibly taken away from their parents and made to live in colonial boarding schools, cut off from their families and their practice of language and religion. These schools, specifically established by the Chinese Communist Party, offer no access to any Tibetan culture-related curricula, and primarily aim to alienate young Tibetan children from their unique culture and identity," they said.

"Recent reports confirm that the Chinese authorities are employing highly unethical and pervasive monitoring and surveillance tactics with mass DNA collection drives in Tibet. Chinese police are collecting DNA samples non consensually from common Tibetans with no criminal conduct. Even Tibetan kindergarten children have not been spared from this DNA collection drive. Therefore, we recognises that the practice will be used to strengthen surveillance and repression of the Tibetan people," they said.