Posted on March 16, 2018
This week, Students for a Free Tibet was at the United Nations in Geneva for the 37th session of the Human Rights Council with the Tibet Advocacy Coalition to ensure China’s violations in Tibet do not go unchecked. We met with Special Rapporteurs to highlight political prisoners, Shokjang, Tashi Wanghuck, and Tsegon Gyal, China’s increased digital surveillance in Tibet, the resettlement of Tibetan nomads, and the extreme poverty and racism against the Tibetan people in Tibet.
We met with international diplomats to directly provide them with evidence and reports on China’s human rights violations in Tibet, countering the Chinese government’s lies and holding them accountable.
We were excited to hear UN experts publicly call on China to drop all allegations against Tashi Wangchuk and call for his immediate release during the opening of the session.
“We condemn the continued detention of Mr. Wangchuk and the criminalization of his freedom of expression as well as his right to stand and speak up for what he perceives as human rights violations in his region and country,” the experts said.
Our presence at the UN is working. At least five countries spoke out for Tibet and Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan man who has now been arbitrarily detained for more than two years for simply advocating that Tibetans to be allowed to learn and speak Tibetan in Tibet. Those countries included the US, EU, Canada, France, and Germany.
But that’s not all we did! Just before our meetings, as part of the Coalition’s efforts to continue building strong advocates for Tibet at the highest levels of the UN, we held a two-day long workshop to train youth participants on UN engagement. We will continue our efforts in cultivating these young individuals as they step up to the plate to take on China.
There is a lot of work ahead of us, but through the combined efforts of the Coalition members and supporters who make our work possible, we know we can secure strong support and action for Tibet.