American politicians raise Tibetan human rights

15th October 2018

The CECC's annual report details human rights abuses in Tibet, drawing on information from Free Tibet and Tibet Watch

Last week, the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), led by Senators Marco Rubio and Chris Smith, issued its 2018 Annual Report and announced several new joint initiatives to counter Beijing’s intimidation tactics.  

The report provides detailed analysis on human rights conditions and the rule of law across China, including in so-called autonomous ethnic minority regions. Senator Rubio said:

The Commission’s 2018 report documents gross violations of human rights in ethnic  minority regions, religious freedom violations, harassment of rights defenders and lawyers, suppression of free speech, onerous restrictions on civil society and more—the markings of a fundamentally authoritarian state,

The report specifically highlighted concerns about human rights in Tibet, and China’s refusal to resolve the situation.

The CECC notes that there has been no formal dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and Chinese Communist Party since 2010. Meanwhile Tibetans continue to resist the occupation with protests. The report also notes that three fatal self-immolation protests were carried out over the past year.

Other issues raised include limits on freedom of speech, the press, association and movement, all of which makes getting information out of Tibet extremely difficult.

Limited access to information, the CECC states, also raised concerns about the extent of damage at the Jokhang Temple, a UNESCO listed site where a fire broke out earlier this year. China claimed that there had been no serious damage to the temple, but satellite images obtained and published in a joint report by Free Tibet and its research partner Tibet Watch disputed this narrative. This report was referenced by the Commission, along with our report on the destruction of homes at Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the world's largest school for Tibetan Buddhism, in eastern Tibet.

Similarly, news relating to Chinese orders limiting Tibetan children’s participation in religious festivities, which were translated and reported by Free Tibet and Tibet Watch, were also incorporated into the report. 

Take action

This November, China's human rights record will be up for review at the UN. The governments of the world will have a chance to demand answers on specific issues and violations.

Take action now. Tell your government to make sure they make Tibet a priority at this review.