Last Updated: Tuesday, 02 September 2014, 12:27 GMT

China must end its vilification campaign against Tibetans

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 19 February 2013
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, China must end its vilification campaign against Tibetans, 19 February 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/513dd17a1a.html [accessed 2 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Last Update 19 February 2013

Paris, Brussels, 19 February 2013. Following the self-immolation of a 102nd Tibetan on 7 February in Tibet, FIDH urges Chinese authorities to immediately take a new stand on Tibet and end, given the scale of the tragedy unfolding in Tibet, its oppressive measures and aggressive campaign against the Tibetan people including the Dalai Lama.

"Our thoughts naturally first go to all families mourning their lost ones. While FIDH calls on Tibetan people to stop resorting to this extreme and more than tragic form of protest that is self-immolation, we firmly denounce the new trend of the Chinese judiciary to criminalize people accused of inciting so desperate actions," declared Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH president.

On 31 January 2013, a court in Sichuan Province sentenced to death with two year reprieve one Tibetan and to ten years his nephew after declaring them guilty of urging eight people to burn themselves, despite no evidence, and under a drive to criminalise the self-immolations. Since the start of self-immolations in 2009, 102 Tibetans have set fire to themselves; almost all of them have died.

"Since the harsh crackdown on protests launched by the Chinese government in March 2008, the repression of the Tibetan people has intensified. Freedom of religion and other fundamental rights and freedoms are severely restricted", said Vincent Metten, ICT EU Policy Director. "Chinese authorities must stop the oppressive measures that are the root causes of these acts. Self-immolators are asking to stop the repression and allow the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. The answer of Beijing is more repression, which will only exacerbate the tensions and the instability on the Tibetan plateau", Mr Metten added.

Last November the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed in an unprecedented move her concern for the alarming escalation of "desperate" forms of protest in Tibet, including self-immolation. Ms. Pillay said the Chinese government needs to do more to protect human rights and prevent violations. She also urged the Government to allow independent and impartial monitors to visit and assess conditions on the ground and to lift restrictions on media access to the region.

On 14th December 2012, the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton released a statement on behalf of the European Union on the self-immolations calling upon "the Chinese authorities to address the deep-rooted causes of the frustration of the Tibetan people and ensure that their civil, political, economic and social and cultural rights are respected, including their right to enjoy their own culture, to practise their own religion and to use their own language".

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