GENEVA: Five UN Special Procedure mandate holders had made a joint urgent appeal to China on 13 July 2012. They asked for information on Jigme Dolma, a 17-year-old girl who was beaten by the Chinese police for her peaceful protest in the main market of Kandze (Ganzi) County, Sichuan on 24 June 2012. She was hospitalised for two months and then sentenced to prison.
In the response China said, “our investigation reveals that we have no knowledge about the case but there is a similar case”. China while referring to Article 51 and 54 of the Constitution said “… instigated Tibet’s independence and the splitting of the country. She has violated the laws of China and has gone beyond the scope of freedom of expression.”
However, Radio Free Asia report dated 7 September 2012 said that Jigme Dolma had gone to protest “without informing her family,” quoting a Tibetan woman living in the area. She threw leaflets in the air and called out for freedom for Tibet, the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and the release of Tibetan political prisoners, the source said.
“When she reached the main part of town, police overwhelmed her and took her away, beating her at the same time,” said the news report.
On 9 August 2012, eight UN investigative bodies had made a joint urgent appeal communication to China. It sought information on systematic undermining of the autonomous functions and the right to freedom of religion, culture and expression of the Tibetan Buddhist community. The communication addresses on the following issues.
1. Replacement of existing “Democratic Management Committees” to “Monastery Management Committee”
2. Patriotic re-education and legal education campaigns including closure of monasteries
3. Self-immolations in Lhasa on 27 May 2012 led to rounded up around 600 Tibetans and also several hundred Tibetans from the eastern areas of Tibetan plateau were arbitrarily expelled from Lhasa without accused of any political involvement in the past or wrongdoing.
4. A notification by TAR Committee for Disciple Inspection and Supervision Department banning party members, cadres, government officials and students from participating in religious activities such as Saka Dawa. The notification further warned of severe punishment even with immediate dismissal from their post if participated.
5. Arrest of over hundreds of Tibetan pilgrims including some seventy five or eighty years old upon their return to the TAR in January 2012. The Tibetan pilgrims returning to TAR via Nepal were searched and arrested at the border for “illegally crossing the border to attend the Dalai Lama’s teachings” despite they had travelled from China with valid Chinese travel documents.
6. Cases of over 64 Tibetan intellectuals who have been arrested and/or sentenced, or who have been fired from their jobs or demoted since March 2008. It also raised detention and whereabouts of singer Lolo, aged 29; a popular Tibetan comedian Arther, aged 33 who was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment; detention of handicapped singer Phulchung in June 1012; and Tibetan writer and poet Ms. Tsering Woeser who wasn’t allow to collect the prize at the Dutch Embassy in Beijing due to house arrest.
7. Closure of a Tibetan school established twenty years ago by the Chinese authorities on 2 April 2012 for teaching and promoting Tibetan culture and language at Khadrok village in Rongpo Tsa Lema Tounship in Kardze County. The school director Nyendak and teacher Yama Tsering were arrested by the Kardze County Public Security Bureau officers and whereabouts remain unknown. It also raised case of another closure of a Tibetan orphanage school in Kanlho (Gansu Province) which housed 50 students on ground of teaching Tibetan language, speech and culture.
China has not provided any response to their allegations in the house arrest of Tsering Woeser and closure of the orphanage school cases.
The UN sent the above communications to China in 2012. These communications were published by the UN on 20 February 2013 in run up to the UN Human Rights Council’s 22nd Session which started in Geneva on 25 February.
Five written statements on Tibet were submitted to the UN Human Rights Council by five NGOs with ECOSOC Status. They covered religious freedom, language, freedom of speech, assembly, independence of judges and fair trial, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, forced resettlement of nomads and herders for their attention and consideration.
Since mid January, Representative Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa and Tenzin Samphel Kayta of Tibet Bureau in Geneva had met with 17 diplomats from EU, USA, Canada, Asian and Latin countries as well as UN officials and international NGOs briefing on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet.