TCHRD’s special report pays tribute to Chinese lawyers defending Tibetans

DHARAMSALA, May 24: The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a Dharamsala-based rights group, released a special report in Chinese to pay tribute to Chinese lawyers defending Tibetans.

Executive Director of TCHRD, Tsering Tsomo and Zhu Ru, a Chinese writer jointly launched the report at a press conference held yesterday at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA) located within the premises of the Central Tibetan Administration here in Dharamsala.

The report was launched on May 24, which marks the 10th anniversary since a second open letter was issued by a group of 21 prominent Chinese civil rights lawyers offering to provide legal assistance to Tibetans detained during 2008 Pan-Tibetan movement.

In a press release issued on the day, TCHRD said the first open letter was issued in early April in the same year where in the Chinese lawyers, said that they hope that the relevant authorities will handle Tibetan detainees strictly in accordance with the constitution and Chinese law.

“The special report is a tribute to the indomitable courage, uncompromising spirit an deep sense of Justice shown by the Chinese civil rights lawyers in defending Tibetan detainees,” the rights group said in the release and further lauded the Chinese lawyers for their principled stand on human rights and the rule of law in the face of the extreme risks to their personal and professional security.

The Dharamsala-based rights group’s report also calls for the immediate release of all Chinese human rights lawyers, activists and their associates who remain imprisoned, disappeared, and are under surveillance since the launch of ‘709’ crack down in 2015 where the communist regime detained or prosecuted dozens of people linked to a Beijing law firm in a crackdown on dissent.

TCHRD’s report documents case studies of 15 Tibetan detainees represented by 16 Chinese lawyers since 2008, except for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche whose case began in 2002 represented by lawyers Zhang Sizhi and Li Huigeng.

The Chinese Government allowed only four lawyers out of the 14 cases included in this report to appear at trials. Eight lawyers were forced to drop the cases, while others wanted to take cases but could not due to various hurdles created by the authorities., the release said.

“Harassment, intimidation and persecution experienced by the Chinese lawyers while representing Tibetan defendants are documented in the report in detail. Despite the risks, Chinese lawyers continue to defend Tibetans as was evident in the case of Tibetan Language advocate Tashi wangchuk,” Tsering Tsomo said.

Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk who was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of ‘inciting separatism’ by a Chinese court earlier this week is being defended by Chinese lawyers, Liang Xiaojun and Lin Qilei.

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