Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief welcomed Tibet Watch’s Report on China’s Destruction of Tibetan Religious Heritage, Arbitrary Detentions and Torture

London-based Tibet Watch and Free Tibet launched their latest report titled ‘Desecration in Drago County: Destruction of Tibetan Religious Heritage, Arbitrary Detentions and Torture’ at the UK Parliament on Monday, 23rd January.

John Jones (Free Tibet); Navendra Mishra MP; Fiona Bruce MP; Kate Saunders (Tibet Watch)
Photo: Free Tibet

This Report Launch was attended by Fiona Bruce MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief and Navendra Mishra MP, Vice Chair of The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, who hosted the special event. Welcoming the guests, Navendra Mishra MP said: “It makes for a difficult reading but is important. The real victims are the people who live in Tibet.”

Whilst acknowledging the authoritative talk by Tibet specialist Kate Saunders, who is also a Trustee of Tibet Watch, Fiona Bruce MP stated that she was very much impressed by this latest report. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy promised to take a copy of the Report to the Foreign Office and raise the matter with her colleagues. Fiona Bruce, who is an MP from the ruling Conservative Party, is currently the Chair of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA). She promised to share the latest findings and concerns with her counterparts of the 42 member-countries IRFBA.

A senior staff from Free Tibet and a native Tibetan from Drago County also spoke and answered questions from the audience. The session was moderated by Navendra Mishra MP, who belongs to the Labour Party.

In its Executive Summary, Tibet Watch and Free Tibet highlighted new evidence of the scale of destruction, the consequences for local Tibetans, and an intensified level of securitisation that local Tibetans have described as a second ‘Cultural Revolution’ in China’s illegally occupied Tibet.

The report also mentions sites and objects of deep religious and historical significance to the local Tibetan community which were targets of a series of demolitions.

Local Tibetans in Drago County have been detained, tortured and subjected to ‘re-education’ for reasons as minor as showing distress at the demolitions.

According to Free Tibet’s social media post, the report is the culmination of “18 months of research, from sourcing rare images and conducting interviews to commissioning satellite imagery and drone footage”. The full report is available on Free Tibet and Tibet Watch websites.

Tsering Passang, Founder and Chair of Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, who attended the Launch event said: “I was very pleased to take part in the Report Launch by Tibet Watch and Free Tibet. Whilst the event facilitated the meeting with like-minded peoples, including from various human rights groups, think tanks, students and parliamentarians, I learned some new information about China’s recent destruction of Tibet’s historical religious sites as well as ill-treatment of Tibetans for their fundamental beliefs. The hard work of the Tibet Watch researchers has come across very clearly through this report. At a time when securing information from Tibet is not only very challenging, but risky too, this latest Tibet Watch report does give much needed impetus and authenticity to the desperate situation that was not fully reported earlier mainly due to total State control and restrictions. I thank all those who have contributed for this amazing report.”

Ever since the illegal occupation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China over 70 years ago, the brutal communist regime continues its colonial and cultural genocide policies in Tibet. This must be stopped.

Useful links:

Free Tibet

Tibet Watch

Fiona Bruce MP

Navendra Mishra MP

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

NGO Professional | Activist | Author | Founder and Chairman, Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM)

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