March 13, 2010
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi
Rights Group Urges China to Release Tibetan Detainees [Saturday, 13 March 2010, 11:13 a.m.]


Dharamshala: A
New York-based human rights watchdog has urged the Chinese government
to release those Tibetans detained without charge during the crackdown
on the peaceful protests in March 2008 against five decades of
repression in Tibet. According to information received by the
Central Tibetan Administration, over 5,600 Tibetans were arrested or
detained throughout Tibet. (Click here for detail list of casualties)“On
the second anniversary of the March 2008 protests in Tibetan areas, the
Chinese government should release those detained without charge,” Human
Rights Watch said. “The Chinese government should also respect
rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in responding to
protests in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas during the anniversary.
Scores of people in Lhasa have reportedly already been arbitrarily
arrested and detained,” it said. “Further repression will
breed precisely the kind of instability the Chinese government fears,”
said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Addressing
underlying grievances and allowing Tibetans to enjoy basic rights of
expression, assembly, and due process is the only way to ensure the
‘harmony’ Beijing so craves,” Richardson added.The rights group
attributed the 2008 protests in Tibet to “Chinese government’s
intrusive controls over religious and cultural activities, accelerated
state-led economic development, and large scale compulsory resettlement
of farmers and nomads”. In March 2009, Human Rights Watch
released an extensive analysis of official Chinese accounts regarding
the arrests and trials of Tibetan protesters from March 2008. “That
assessment showed that by the Chinese government’s own count, thousands
of Tibetans had been subject to arbitrary arrest and more than 100
trials were pushed through the judicial system. Little reliable
information has emerged since that time to indicate releases,
acquittals, or even the whereabouts of those detained. While several
trials have been held, they have been highly politicised proceedings.” In
September 2009, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Navanethem Pillay, identified “discrimination and the failure to
protect minority rights” as “underlying causes” behind the protests in
Tibet and Xinjiang. The Chinese government response to both uprisings
has continued to rely on broad and indiscriminate coercion and
intimidation, and preventing any expression of discontent. “National
security concerns do not exempt the Chinese government from it from its
obligation to respect fundamental rights and freedoms,” said
Richardson. “If Tibetans in China are equal before the law then the
government must account for every detention.”
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