By Tenzin Monlam
Former Tibetan political prisoner Golog Jigme Gyatso at the 10th Geneva summit. Photo- Geneva summit
DHARAMSHALA, February 20: Former Tibetan political prisoner and activist Golog Jigme Gyatso said that the universality of human rights is under threat if the dire situation in Tibet is not addressed as soon as possible.
Jigme was speaking at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy yesterday, the activist addressed the summit under the title, ‘China after Liu Xiabo’ along with Lam Wing-kee, Hong Kong-based bookseller and activist who was abducted by China for selling banned books in 2015.
“Since all the human rights defenders and organizations are gathered here. I have an urge for all of you that is if the situation in Tibet is not addressed as soon as possible, the universality of human rights is under threat,” the 49-year-old monk said at the summit organized a week before the opening of 37th UN Human Rights Council session.
The monk who was put behind bars for assisting Dhondup Wangchen in filming ‘Leaving Fear Behind’ also said that the universality of human rights is also under threat if the world comes under China’s economic influences and that the basic human rights must be protected for all humanity.
Golog Jigme welcomed Dhondup Wangchen’s escape into exile after spending over seven years in prison, reminding the gathering that along with the summit this year marks the 10th anniversary of the 2008 nation-wide protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet.
The former political prisoner was arrested thrice since his involvement with the making of the documentary film in 2008.
Narrating the physical and mental torture he went through in Chinese prison, he said, “When I was put on the iron chair it was horrible, beyond a human being can imagine. I felt that all my organs, my lungs, my livers, were coming out. This is how I was tortured physically. As for mental torture, I was forced to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
While stating that the main aim of making ‘leaving fear behind’ was to expose China’s propaganda and double standard on human rights claims, the monk urged that time has come to unite together to safeguard basic principles of human rights.