Fifty years after the brutal crackdown that lead the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans to escape from Tibet to India, the self-immolation of a young Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery in Sichuan Province on February 27th 2009 marked the beginning of a new form of protest against the severe repression imposed by the People’s Republic of China on the people of Tibet. Between March 16th 2011 and April 20th 2012, the self-immolation of 34 more people, most of whom died, has revealed the degree of tension that prevails in the region.
The report, prepared by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in partnership with the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), presents a selection of six testimonies from Tibetan asylum seekers in Europe. The testimonies are based on thirty interviews carried out by FIDH throughout 2011 in Belgium, France and Switzerland – the three European countries hosting the largest number of Tibetans.
FIDH says that these self-immolations overwhelmingly suggest that China’s policy for dealing with the Tibet question has failed. Last month, the Dalai Lama blamed Beijing‘s “totalitarian” and “unrealistic” policies for the wave of self-immolations among Tibetans.
The report aims to contribute to documenting human rights violations in Tibet in a context where independent observers, foreign researchers, human rights activists and journalists are not allowed to operate in the country.
FIDH urges the European Union and its Member States, as well as all States engaged in human rights dialogues with the China — including Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — to immediately and systematically include issues pertaining to human rights in Tibet in talks with Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels, and with Chinese heads of State. They also encourage China to return to the negotiating table and engage in a meaningful dialogue with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.