GENEVA and NEW DELHI, February 7, 2017

The Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) along with Office of Tibet based in Geneva launched a massive campaign ‘Tibet at the United Nations’ to strengthen advocacy for human rights in Tibet.

A 4-member delegation from Dharamsala where the Central Tibetan Administration is based at, visited Geneva to lobby UN permanent missions, the UN Human Rights Council members, office of UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders.

The delegation also included Nyima Lhamo, niece of late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche- a prominent Tibetan spiritual leader who died in 2015 while serving life sentence in Chinese prison in Tibet. Nyima Lhamo escaped from Tibet last year and is seeking international investigation into the death of her uncle, who she claims died from poisoning in prison.

Tibet was ranked as the 2nd ‘Worst of the Worst’ in Freedom House’s annual ‘Freedom in the World 2016’ report with only Syria scoring lower. In view of the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet and China’s violation of international human rights law, four pertinent and pressing human rights issues were raised during the week-long lobbying: Crackdown on Human Rights Defenders- through arbitrary arrest, unfair sentencing as in the case of late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who died of torture in Chinese prison in Tibet, and that of language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk (31) who is charged with inciting separatism and could face up to 15 years in prison for advocating language rights for Tibetans in Tibet; Religious repression in Tibet – as in the case of wide-scale demolition of Larung Gar and forced eviction of monks and nuns from the center who are forced to undergo patriotic education; State interference in religious affairs – through administration of monasteries and state control over the Buddhist reincarnation system; Enforced and Involuntary disappearance – the case of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the reincarnation of Panchen Lama who disappeared since 1995, at the age of six; Monitoring and Surveillance of Tibetans in Tibet – through grid management system, travel restrictions, passport confiscation and discriminatory practices in issuing passports.

“The UN advocacy work initiated by DIIR, CTA is significant to ensure Tibet remains on the UN Human Rights agenda, especially in the lead up to the 34th UN Human Rights Council Session beginning this month and 3rd cycle of China’s Universal Periodic Review due in November next year,” said Sonam Norbu Dagpo, International Relations Secretary, DIIR.

The delegation met with UN Human Rights Council President Joaquin Alexander Maza Martelli, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations Office at Geneva. President Joaquin ensured that his office is committed to protecting human rights around the world and that the door of human rights council is always open.

“The UN Human Rights Council, of which China is a member, is the very same body that the Chinese Government seeks to subvert. DIIR deem significant to leverage the important opportunity UN presents to highlight China’s rights violations in Tibet and push for member states to make China a responsible member of HRC,” said Dhardon Sharling, Information Secretary, DIIR.

About CTA:

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is the continuation of the government of independent Tibet. The Tibetan people, both inside and outside Tibet, recognize Central Tibetan Administration as their sole and legitimate government. CTA is also being increasingly recognized as the legitimate government and true representative of the six million Tibetan people by parliaments around the world.

About DIIR:

The Department of Information and International Relations is one of the seven main departments under Kashag. The Department educates the Tibetans and international public opinion on the political, human rights and environmental conditions in Tibet. Towards this end, it publishes both print and video materials on Tibet. The periodicals come out in three languages: Tibetan, English and Chinese. The DIIR serves as a protocol office of the CTA and liaises with the international media and Tibet Support Groups throughout the world. Under the DIIR are the CTA’s foreign missions in 11 countries. They function as the official agencies of the CTA and are based in New Delhi, Kathmandu, Geneva, New York, Tokyo, London, Moscow, Brussels, Canberra, Pretoria and Taipei.

Media Contact:
Tenzin Lekshey
Media Officer
Tibet Bureau Office in Delhi