DHARAMSHALA: Human Rights Watch said Friday that governments concerned about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet should form a Tibet Contact Group when they meet at the United Nations General Assembly next week.
“A contact group could press the Chinese government to consider resuming meaningful negotiations with Tibetan representatives, and visibly demonstrate heightened international concern about deteriorating conditions,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
It also urged “governments to express support for the longstanding requests by UN special rapporteurs, as well as diplomats, journalists, and other independent monitors, to have access to Tibetan areas.”
Since 2009, over 51 Tibetans have set themselves on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
The Chinese government has responded to the wave of self-immolations with increased repressive security operations and multiplied arbitrary detentions, the rights group said.
Ever-increasing government restrictions in religion, culture, and other basic freedoms have led to self-immolations by Tibetans. Rather than attempt to address underlying grievances, the Chinese government’s primary response has been to increase security presence and restrictive regulations across Tibet, it said.
“The many years of restricting Tibetans’ fundamental rights have led to acts of desperation that have escalated a crisis that shows no sign of abating,” Sophie Richardson, China Director of HRW, said. “UN member countries should take steps now that could give Tibetans some hope.”