Human Rights Watch: China enforces highly repressive policies in Tibet

DHARAMSHALA: A prominent human rights organisation has criticised the Chinese government for carrying out widespread secret arrests and torture of Tibetans in custody and authoritarian control over all judicial institutions.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW), in its World Report 2013 released Thursday, documented China’s policies threatening the Tibetan people’s socio-economic conditions and religious freedom.

HRW report said China’s repressive measures in Tibet continued after its massive crackdown on popular protests that shook the region in 2008. “The situation in Tibet remained tense following the  and the introduction of measures designed to place all Tibetan monasteries under the direct control of government officials who will be permanently stationed there.”

“As part of its drive to build “a New Socialist Countryside” on the Tibetan plateau, the government continues to implement large development programs mandating rehousing or relocating up to 80 percent of the rural population. The relocation policies have been carried out—contrary to Chinese government claims—with no effective choice and without genuine consultation of those affected, while compensation mechanisms are opaque and inadequate,” the report said.

”Pastoralists deprived of their traditional livelihood face declining living standards and increased dependency on government subsidies,” it added.

The report further said, “Chinese security forces maintain a heavy presence and the authorities continue to tightly restrict access and travel to Tibetan areas, particularly for journalists and foreign visitors,” it said.

“Tibetans suspected of being critical of political, religious, cultural, or economic state policies are systematically targeted on charges of “separatism”,” it said.

”Chinese people had no say in the selection of their new leaders, highlighting that despite the country’s three decades of rapid modernization, 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,” it said.