DHARAMSHALA, April 10: Sophie Richardson, the China Director at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), yesterday wrote to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to raise the critical human rights situation in Tibet during his upcoming visit to Beijing.
"Despite the increasing death toll, there is still no evidence to suggest willingness on the part of Chinese authorities to address the grievances articulated either by those who have self-immolated or more broadly by Tibetans, including those that represent basic human rights violations," the letter said.
Calling China an "opaque government" Richardson urged Kerry to pursue confident, prominent human rights diplomacy with the Chinese government, with activists inside China and across the ever-broadening spectrum of American interests in respect to China.
The letter further said that it is deep concern for the US as the Chinese government has failed to make any significant progress on basic human rights protections.
HRW urged Kerry to speak to people aside from the Chinese government to enumerate human rights abuses and explicitly urge the government to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leaders.
"The government remains an authoritarian one-party system that places arbitrary curbs on freedom of expression, association, religion, prohibits independent labor unions and human rights organizations, and maintains party control over all judicial institutions," Richardson said.
This is John Kerry's first major international travel and the first visit to China after he became the Secretary of State.
Exile Tibetans all over the world, including Students for a Free Tibet which has its head quarter in New York City, have been appealing Kerry to raise Tibet issue with the new Chinese leadership.