News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan rights groups condemn DNA kit supplier Thermo Fisher Scientific

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Tibetan youth activists and campaigners protesting against Thermo Fisher (Photo/SFT)

By Tenzin Nyidon

DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 3: Tibetan rights groups Free Tibet Organisation, Students for Free Tibet (SFT) and International Tibet Network (ITN) launched a week of global action against Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts-based company’s which supplies DNA kits to Chinese Communist Party, enabling forced collection of samples and biometric surveillance across Tibet. The rights group on their social media handle said a petition to hold the company accountable for their complicity in the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses, is underway.

The campaign condemned the US-based company for putting profit before people by selling DNA kits and their continuous technical assistance to the Chinese police forces in occupied Tibet. The campaign #HandsOffTibetansDNA urges Marc Casper, the company’s CEO and Sandy Pound, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of Thermo Fisher, to immediately halt the supply of DNA kits to China.

Free Tibet Organisation along, with the Tibetan Community in Britain, went to Thermo Fisher UK headquarters to speak to its staff members to raise awareness about the company’s unethical profiteering over the innocent Tibetan’s illegal mass DNA. The London-based rights group also travelled to the Chinese embassy and university science campuses to raise awareness about their campaign. Many Tibetan student activists and campaigners, along with the solidarity of the Hong Kongers, Taiwanese and Uyghurs, continue their protest to the streets to educate the employees about the company’s complicity in mass DNA collection through their DNA kits supplied to the Chinese authorities inside Tibet. Youth activists across the globe on their social media handle posted pictures of their hands imprinted with #HandOffTibetanDNA to show their support for the campaign. 

Meanwhile, Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), organised a petition drive to ask Thermo Fisher to stop supplying DNA kits to the Chinese government as a part of global week of action campaign at McLeod square, Dharamshala on Wednesday. 

“Companies like Thermo Fisher have all assisted in building this brutal society beyond an Orwellian state by refusing to acknowledge the beast (China) they are working with,” Lhadon Tethong, Director at Tibet Action Institute said.

Tenzin Yangzom, grassroots director at Students for Free Tibet, said, “Tibet is already under complete lockdown, a total police state and one of the most repressed places in the world. The news about Thermo Fisher didn’t come as a surprise to us as Tibet activists; further repression should be alarming to the global community.”

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