Feb 22nd, 2012
Students for a Free Tibet Japan
Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
Ms. Laura Dupuy Lassere
President of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Ms. Navanethem Pillay
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
A Petition to the Office of the United Nations Human Rights Council to Stop the Violation of Human Rights in Tibet by the Government of the People’s Republic of China
Since 1950 Tibet has faced a human rights crisis due to the actions of the government of the People's Republic of China. The situation in the past two years has worsened and grown increasingly tense.
Self-immolations as acts of resistance began to occur in February 2009 and have increased sharply since March 2011. Tibetans in exile report that the confirmed number of incidents has risen to at least 23 (unconfirmed reports have the number to be 26.) In the first six weeks of 2012 at least ten Tibetans have self-immolated (unconfirmed number is 13, as of Feb. 19). Furthermore, between January 23-25 in several towns in Eastern Tibet, armed police and military shot at unarmed civilians. According to information reported by Tibetans, fatalities numbered at more than ten, injured numbered more than thirty, and several hundred more people were taken into custody.
Tibetans in Tibet continue to resist with faith and dignity against the physical and mental oppression perpetrated by the Chinese government over the past several decades. Based on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama they persist in using only nonviolence to take back their freedom and their human rights.
Xinhua News Agency reported that the Chinese government has reported that the security forces fired on rioters who attacked a local police office with Molotov cocktails and other such unfounded stories. Foreign reporters and travelers were excluded entry to that Tibetan area. Internet service for mobile phones was cut off, Tibetan residents were denied freedom of movement and a total blockage of the flow of information was attempted. There is almost no information about the present situation available.
In response to President Obama's expression of concern over China's human rights record, China's next leader Xi Jinping said “it is only natural that we have some differences on the issue of human rights given the differences in national conditions and in historical and cultural [background] between the two countries." And he stood firm in the opinion that repression and genocide are measures needed to maintain social stability.
Can we allow those with political and economic power to cover up the truth with lies?
The United Nations should help the Tibetan people who continue to fight with dignity in their shuttered homeland. We ask that you do not condone the crimes committed by the state, namely that citizens who were protesting non-violently were shot and killed. We ask you to help free the elderly pilgrims who were arrested and subjected to forced re-education in political criminal camps, although there was no reason for them to be arrested since they had proper permits for their pilgrimage. Please do not forsake Tibet.
To date, every Tibetan who has self-immolated made a profoundly important decision that remains undiscussed: the decision not to take a single Chinese life, whether that of an innocent civilian or a military personnel. Yet Beijing has claimed that self-immolation is a terrorist act, in a move that can only be understood as a self-destructive policy aimed at driving Tibetans toward real terrorism.
The Tibetan parliament-in-exile has issued a statement that says if the global community wants peace it must direct its attention to those people who appeal for freedom though non-violent means. If attention is only directed at areas where violent conflict has arisen and only gives priority to issues of violent conflict, then those people who now appeal for freedom using non-violent means will likely or are likely to be driven to violent conflict.
We remain grateful to the High Commissioner for having expressed concern on the human rights situation in Tibet, including at past sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. On that basis, Tibetans in Tibet require specific and direct action.
We request that the United Nations and international society undertake the following measures:
- Conduct a United Nations fact-finding investigation of Tibetan areas and objectively reveal the true situation in Tibet.
- Discuss the crackdown on Tibet by the government of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations Human Rights Council and make recommendations regarding the violation of human rights in Tibet.
- Convene a special meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council to deliberate the human rights situation in Tibet and adopt a resolution to condemn the cultural genocide in cultural, educational and religious areas by the government of the People’s Republic of China.
Representative of Students for a Free Tibet Japan
Petition to UNHCR to Stop the Violation in Tibet by Chinese Government