By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 4: The Freedom House annual list of 210 countries and territories that rate people’s access to political rights and civil liberties have listed Tibet and Syria as the least free countries in the world with 1 point each. In the latest report of Freedom in the World 2021, Tibet scored -2/40 on political rights and 3/60 on civil liberties, whereas Syria scored -3/40 on political rights and 4/60 on civil liberties in 2020.
The international watchdog remarked, “Tibet is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government based in Beijing, with local decision-making power concentrated in the hands of Chinese party officials. Residents of both Chinese and Tibetan ethnicity are denied fundamental rights, but the authorities are especially rigorous in suppressing any signs of dissent among Tibetans, including manifestations of uniquely Tibetan religious belief and cultural identity. State policies encourage migration from other parts of China, reducing the ethnic Tibetan share of the population.” Tibet was ranked as the second least free country every year since 2016, behind only Syria.
President of the Central Tibetan Administration, known as the government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay said on Thursday, “Tibet received a score of one in the last six years in terms of freedom. Six years in a row shows the gravity of situation in Tibet. While Syria’s score has improved from zero to one, Tibet’s human rights state continues to be in a grim situation as the Chinese government persists in committing grave violations.” Tibet scored just 1/100 points to be listed the least free country along with Syria.
“The fact that Tibet is now tied for worst in Freedom House’s global freedom scores is a clear sign of just how bad things have become in Tibet. We hope this ranking will serve as a reminder to the world about the urgent need to take action for Tibet,” ICT interim President Bhuchung K. Tsering said. The full summary of political rights and civil liberties in Tibet is expected to be released later this year. China has also been categorized as ‘Not Free’ with a low grade of 11/100 points.