Arbitrary arrests common in Tibet: HRW

Dharamsala, Jan 23: China systematically suppresses the rights of Tibetans in the name of combating what it sees as separatist sentiment and arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment in detention is common, Human Rights Watch said in its annual report.

“Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment remains common and torture and ill-treatment in detention is endemic. Fair trials are precluded by politicised judiciary overtly tasked with suppressing separatism,” said the report.

The Chinese government systematically suppresses Tibetan political, cultural, religious and socio-economic rights in the name of combating what it sees as separatist sentiment, the Central Tibetan Administration Thursday quoted the HRW report as saying.

The report released Tuesday said China carries out involuntary population relocation and re-housing on a massive scale and enforces highly repressive policies in ethnic minority areas in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

The HRW report condemned the Chinese police firing on unarmed Tibetans gathered to celebrate the birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama July 6 in Nyitso in Dawu region. Two people reportedly died and many were injured in the firing.

It also said “the (Chinese) government censors the press, internet, print publications and academic research and justifies human rights abuses as necessary to preserve social stability”.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration-in-exile is based in the hill town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.