By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 17: Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 33rd annual report has extensively accused China of their hypocrisy in trading away human rights obligations for its short-term political wins and putting its individual agendas first. The World Report reviewed human rights standards in over 100 countries for 2022.
The HRW annual report detailed the Chinese government’s deepened repression across its region in the last year highlighting the Chinese Communist Party’s Zero Covid policy for severely limiting the rights of millions of people with the continuous harassment, detention and prosecution of human rights defenders by suppressing their freedom of expression. In the report, the investigators also called for Xi’s ‘sinicization’ of religion by comprehensively controlling and dictating religious activities.
The rights watch dog said that Chinese authorities continue to enforce severe restrictions on freedoms of religion, expression, movement, and assembly in Tibet. Other widespread concerns include mass relocation, environmental degradation, and phasing out the Tibetan language in primary education. The report also pointed out the sentencing and detention of the notable Tibetan writer, Go Sherab Gyatso and other religious and cultural figures, Rongwo Gendun Lhundrup and Thubten Lodro, who were arrested on suspicion of dissent, as well as famous pop singer Tsewang Norbu who self-immolated fatally in March last year.
However, the report did not highlight China’s discriminatory practices, which are in the form of state repression and intimidation, such as; the Chinese government’s full-scale campaign of biometric repression launched against Tibetans, China’s colonial boarding schools in occupied Tibet as a policy of assimilation, cyber security law and surveillance, and Tibet’s climate crisis. The report also did not outline the gruesome details of the recent Zero-Covid policy, where restrictions were imposed by the local authorities in the form of lockdown, forced quarantine and lack of basic amenities that pushed innocent Tibetans to take their own lives. Evidently, Xi Jinping’s second term has clearly failed to protect the Economic, Social and Cultural (ESC) rights of the Tibetans.
A day after HRW released its annual world report, the organisation’s acting Executive Director, Tirana Hassan, said, “We have witnessed world leaders cynically trading away human rights obligations and accountability for human rights abuses in exchange for seeming short-term political wins.” “Ignoring human rights violations carries a heavy cost, and the ripple effects should not be underestimated,” she added. The comprehensive report conclude by calling for freedoms and universal suffrage for people in China as a significant reminder, thus, realising their human rights commitments.