UN mandate holders question China over prominent Tibetan rights activists
[Saturday, May 27, 2017 18:46]
By Tenzin Dharpo

Slain Tibetan teacher Tulku Tenzin Delek's sister and niece (L to R) Dolkar Lhamo and Nyima Lhamo.
Slain Tibetan teacher Tulku Tenzin Delek's sister and niece (L to R) Dolkar Lhamo and Nyima Lhamo.
DHARAMSHALA, MAY 27: A group of United Nations mandate holders yesterday made public a joint communication that they have sent to China last December about the plight and details of Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk and relatives of slain Tibetan teacher Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Dolkar Lhamo and Nyima Lhamo. The two cases have captured attention of global monitors and press over the course of the last few years.

In the case of Tashi Wangchuk, five Special Procedures mandate holders: the mandates of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment have all raised questions to the Chinese government.

The communication dated Feb. 10, 2017, the UN and Human Rights Desk said it sought response over the “Chinese government’s response in the seven areas of concern including the legal grounds for the arrest and detention of Tashi Wangchuk, his physical and psychological integrity and compatibility with the international norms and standard. And also asked about measures in place to ensure Tibetans’ rights to learn mother tongue freely”. Arrested and charged with “inciting separatism”, he may face up to 15 years’ imprisonment in Chinese jail.

Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk. file photo
Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk. file photo
While in the case of the two female relatives of the late Tulku Tenzin Delek, three Special Procedures Mandate holders relating to Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief have sent similar communication to Beijing last year. While Nyima Lhamo has escaped into exile, Dolkar Lhamo, her mother who was arrested earlier and released still lives in Tibet.

UN mandate holders have sought response over the “arrest and detention of. Nyima Lhamo and Dolkar Lhamo, which appear to be directly related to their advocacy and imparting of information concerning the death of Tenzin Delek. We express equal concern at the threats, intimidation and surveillance of the two women human rights defenders as well as the use of force against peaceful protestors in Lithang”. And further expressed concern at the “broader measures taken in Lithang and Nyakchuka, including internet shut downs and the issuance of the communiqué on banned activities, limiting the right to freedom of information, expression as well as the rights to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly in ways that are incompatible with international human rights law”.

The communications made public were sent from Dec. 26, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017 and their reply received until April 30, 2017, the UN & Human Rights Desk, Department of Information and International Relations of the exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration said.

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