DHARAMSALA, 14 Jan: Human Rights Watch has said in its 2021 annual report that “the Chinese government’s authoritarianism was on full display in 2020” and called out China for continuing to severely restrict religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly of Tibetans.
The rights group, reiterating a concern it raised last year in its annual report, pointed out how China still continues to fail “to redress popular concerns about mining and land grabs by local officials, which often involve intimidation and unlawful use of force by security forces.”
The report further highlighted China’s 13th Five-year plan for Tibet and its ambitious state goals for rural transformation including the relocation of several hundred thousand more people and added that “Official claims of ‘poverty alleviation’ prompted fears of further marginalization and dispossession of Tibet’s rural majority.”
Additionally, the report stated that the regulations for the promotion of “Nationality Unity Model Areas,” that China forced upon Tibetans in May marks “a new milestone for the coercive assimilationist policies of the current leadership.”
“These policies encourage economic migration from other parts of China and phasing out Tibetan-medium instruction in primary schools. Intensified surveillance and intimidation in neighbourhoods, workplaces, and homes has prevented public protest, a goal emphasized repeatedly by leading officials,” it said.
The New York-based rights group’s further said that the Chinese President Xi Jinping “personally called for increasing political education in schools to ensure the loyalty of the next generation, signalling central support for these policies,” at the 7th Forum on Tibet Work in August 2020.
The report noted that the human rights situation in China is at its worst under Xi Jinping.
“Under President Xi Jinping, the government has deepened repression at home and sought to muzzle critics abroad. It has arbitrarily detained hundreds of human rights defenders and lawyers, tightened control over civil society, media, and the internet, and deployed invasive surveillance technology,” it read.
However, it added that a growing number of nations are standing up to China for its repression and human rights abuses.
“The number of countries willing to publicly condemn the Chinese government for its abuses in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet, and elsewhere continued to grow, while the number of countries willing to praise Beijing declined,” the report said.
China’s initial cover-up on news about the Coronavirus that first reported in Wuhan province, including silencing health workers, contributed to the global spread of the coronavirus, the report said.
On the while, the rights group also called out “Chinese authorities’ silencing of human rights defenders, journalists, and activists, and restrictions on the internet, also make it difficult to obtain accurate information about Chinese government policies and actions.”
“Governments, civil society groups, and United Nations officials expressed growing concern over the Chinese government’s human rights violations in 2020,” it concluded.
Kenneth Roth, the group’s executive director released its 761-page World Report 2021, its 31st edition, on Thursday after reviewing human rights practices in more than 100 countries.