DHARAMSALA, 9 Dec: Alarmed by Thermo Fisher Scientific’s involvement in China’s mass stealing of DNA from Tibetans, the International Tibet Network has launched a global campaign calling on the company to stop aiding and abetting China.
China’s new repressive measures in Tibet of mass stealing of DNA from Tibetans, including from children as young as five-years-old will give China unprecedented powers to monitor Tibetans, violate their privacy, and persecute them, the Tibet Network team has said and added that Thermo Fisher Scientific is helping China and making huge profits by allowing its DNA kits to be supplied to police forces in occupied Tibet.
ITN, a global coalition of 120 Tibet advocacy groups campaigns saw activists stage global in-person and online actions demanding Thermo Fisher stop its supply of DNA testing kits to Chinese police forces in Tibet as activists also questioned the company’s “claims to be ethical” while assisting China and subjecting Tibetans “to a lifetime of surveillance and fear”.
“Where is your commitment to human rights, dignity and respect”, Sangye Choden Gyarong, a 15-year-old, Tibetan from Norway cautions the US company calling for an end to their compliance with China’s occupation of Tibet as the global coalition estimates 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 from Students for a Free Tibet visited the headquarters of the American company earlier this week to deliver a joint letter (signed by over 120+ global Tibet groups).
“We are alarmed that Thermo Fisher Scientific is supplying Chinese police forces in occupied Tibet with DNA testing kits and other support. We urge you to publicly announce an end to these agreements, which pose a dangerous new threat to Tibetans living under occupation” read the petition letter addressed to Thermo Fisher CEO Marc Casper.
It further adds that “there can be no justification for this policy” as “it is wildly disproportionate in its scale, discriminates against Tibetans gives the “Chinese government and police unfettered power to carry out yet more human rights abuses against Tibetans”.
The letter urges Thermo Fisher Scientific to stop profiting by aiding and abetting China to assist in the monitoring and persecution of millions of Tibetans and put an end to the malpractice that is “wildly disproportionate in its scale” and discriminates against Tibetans.
“We urge you to show the courage to correct this grave mistake, listen to Tibetans and put an end to these agreements”, it concluded.
Earlier this year in September, the 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.