Amnesty International (AI) has said that the Chinese authorities continued to severely restrict the freedom of religion, expression and association of the Tibetan people during 2005. In its report on the state of human rights in the world, released on May 23, 2006, AI said arbitrary arrests and unfair trials of Tibetans continued and referred to the case of some monks from Amdo who were sentenced for writing what were dubbed politically sensitive materials.
The Report documents human rights abuses in 150 countries around the world. In a press statement announcing the release of the report, AI Secretary-General Irene Khan said, “Governments collectively and individually paralyzed international institutions and squandered public resources in pursuit of narrow security interests, sacrificed principles in the name of the “war on terror” and turned a blind eye to massive human rights violations. As a result, the world has paid a heavy price, in terms of erosion of fundamental principles and in the enormous damage done to the lives and livelihoods of ordinary people.”
The report said that China continued a limited dialogue with selected members of the international community on human rights issues. However, human rights defenders at home continued to be arbitrarily detained and some were sentenced to prison terms.
“The political and moral authority of governments will be increasingly judged on their stand on human rights at home and abroad. More than ever the world needs those countries with power and international influence – the permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as those who aspire to such membership – to behave with responsibility and respect for human rights. Governments must stop playing games with human rights,” said Khan.
The report asked the newly established United Nations Human Rights Council “to insist on equal standards of respect of human rights from all governments, whether in Darfur or Guant?namo, Chechnya or China.”
Following is the text of the reference to Tibet in the Amnesty International report. The full report can be viewed on www.amnesty.org
Tibet Autonomous Region and other ethnic Tibetan areas
Freedom of religion, expression and association continued to be severely restricted and arbitrary arrests and unfair trials continued. Some prisoners of conscience were released at the end of their sentences, but dozens of others, including Buddhist monks and nuns, remained behind bars where they were at risk of torture or ill-treatment.
* Tashi Gyaltsen and four other monks were assigned to between two and three years’ Re-education through Labour in Xiling, Qinghai province, in February for publishing a newsletter which contained poems and articles deemed to be politically sensitive.