Tibet Ranked ‘Least Free Place’ Once Again in Latest Freedom Index Report

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 2 March: Tibet, the country under the occupation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is listed as “the least free place” in the world once again, scoring zero, the worst in eight years, in the watchdog group Freedom House’s latest global freedom index report released on 29 February.

In its 2024 report covering freedom and democracy development globally from last year, for better and worse, it says, “In Tibet, the CCP aggressively defends its monopoly on political power, and any expression of support for self-determination is severely punished. For decades, Beijing has encouraged the settlement of Han Chinese and forced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tibetans into reeducation, resettlement, or employment programs that are rife with political indoctrination, effectively attempting to Sinicize the region and erase Tibetan identity.” 

The report further exposes the CCP’s assimilative drive in Tibet through what exiled Tibetans and Tibet-support groups call ‘China’s colonial boarding school system.’ “During 2023, approximately one million Tibetan children were separated from their families and put into state-run boarding schools where official versions of Han Chinese culture and language are forcibly inculcated,” says the report.

“This score leaves no doubt that China’s occupation of Tibet has been a global catastrophe,” International Campaign for Tibet President Tencho Gyatso said. “For 65 years, the Chinese government has brutalized Tibet to the point that its global freedom score has now hit rock bottom. That is a clear indictment of China’s failed policies in Tibet and the need for the Chinese government to get back to peaceful dialogue with Tibetan leaders to resolve this disastrous occupation.”

At the latest, as exposed through leaked videos and audio from Tibet, Chinese authority is in the process of carrying out forced relocation of hundreds of Tibetan households in two villages and at least six monasteries in Derge in Tibet’s traditional province of Kham, to clear the area for China’s planned hydropower dam project on the Drichu river that runs through the region. The mass non-violent protest staged by Tibetans opposing the dam and their relocation has been met with violence, detention, and arrest by Chinese police personnel.

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