DHARAMSALA, 3 Feb: Tibetan NGOs here in the exile headquarters of the Tibetan people called on the US government to investigate into Thermo Fisher Scientific and their ill-gotten gains as they joined over a hundred movement-based organisations and allies for the “Global week of action” to highlight China’s New Attack on Tibet: Stealing Tibetan DNA!
Activists from four Tibetan NGOs from here- Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for a Free Tibet-India- and National Democratic Party of Tibet made the demand as they joined a global collation of 120 organisations and allies for the “Global week of action” from 30th January – 5th February 2023 to highlight China’s policy of Mass DNA Collection.
“There can be no justification for this policy; it’s widely disproportionate in scale, discriminates against Tibetans, and hands the Chinese Communist Regime unfettered power to carry out yet more human rights abuses against Tibetans,” read a joint statement issued by the NGOs.
The activists performed a skit depicting China’s forced mass DNA collection being carried out in Tibet which is being aided and abetted by the American company Thermo Fisher that they say “hands the Chinese Communist Regime unfettered power to carry out yet more human rights abuses against Tibetans.”
“Aiding and abetting this mass robbery of Tibetan DNA is Thermo Fisher Scientific, a US-based corporate that supplies its DNA tool kits and other technical support to Chinese police forces in occupied Tibet,” the statement said as the activists demanded Thermo Fisher to “stop selling DNA kits to China.”
The activists further said cautioned Thermo Fisher for claiming to be an “ethical company” yet “aiding China as it attempts to subject an entire people to a lifetime of surveillance and fear?”
Citing International Freedom House’s report that declared Tibet as one of the least free countries in the world under Chinese rule, the activist demanded the US company to stop making a profit from the persecution.
“There can be no justification for this policy; it’s widely disproportionate in scale, discriminates against Tibetans, and hands the Chinese Communist Regime unfettered power to carry out yet more human rights abuses against Tibetans.”
As their repeated appeals and protests fell before the deaf ears of Mr Marc Casper, Chief Executive Officer of Thermo Fisher, the statement added, “so long as these sales continue, Thermo fisher scientific is choosing to assist in the monitoring and persecution of millions of Tibetans.”
“We call Tibetans and supporters around the world to join us in an appealing immediate investigation by the US government into Thermo Fisher Scientific and their ill-gotten gains.”
The NGOs have likened the malpractice to a sinister turn of China’s repressive rule in Tibet and added that the “police are systematically taking DNA samples from Tibetans, including Children as young as 5 years of age.”
Rights groups and activists estimate that “as many as 1.2 million Tibetans have had DNA samples taken to build a sweeping genetic database” that they say “will add to Beijing’s growing surveillance capabilities, giving China unprecedented power to monitor Tibetans, violate their privacy, and persecute them”.
Activists said that China’s forced DNA sample collection of Tibetans “will add to Beijing’s growing surveillance capabilities, giving china unprecedented power to monitor Tibetans, violate their privacy, eradicate Tibetan’s existence and persecute them.”
The Global Week of Action campaign by the global collation of organisations also saw protests being held across the world outside the Chinese consulates and Thermo Fisher’s headquarters around the world.
In September last year, Human Rights Watch declared that China is committing serious human rights violations in Tibet by systematically collecting DNA samples from Tibetans across Tibet, including from kindergarten children without the apparent consent of their parents.
It added that China’s mass DNA collection in Tibet is prevalent across the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region(TAR) and that China has been conducting it since 2019.