By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 30: On the occasion of the international day of victims of enforced disappearances, Gu-Chu-Sum ex-Tibetan political prisoners’ organization today called for the end to ‘legalized practice of enforced disappearance’ in Occupied-Tibet.
Gu-Chu-Sum commemorating the day held a signature campaign at the McLeod Ganj main square here. The organisation said Tibetans inside Tibet have been subjected to crass practice of “involuntary disappearance” where in an individual is detained for an unspecified time and his fate or whereabouts are not disclosed to his family.
Posters depicting victims of enforced disappearance inside Tibet. photo- Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet
The Dharamshala based organisation in particular highlighted the case of one of the high-profile political prisoners and ranking Tibetan religious figure, the 11th Panchen Lama who has been held incommunicado since May 1995.
Gu-Chu-Sum said that despite revelation by Secretary of the CPC Central Committee of Lhasa Baima Wangdu earlier this year that the Panchen Lama is leading a “good life”, the organisation said China must allow the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) to “verify whereabouts of the Panchen Lama”.
Additionally, the organisation which has documented first hand accounts of hundreds of Tibetan political prisoners from Tibet over the years said China must urgently repeal its “residential surveillance at a designated location”, a practice of intense surveillance of Tibetans across the three traditional provinces of Tibet.
The group also said that as a member state of the United Nations, China must immediately sign and ratify the international Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance and honour its commitments to the Human Rights Council.