Tibetan activist sues Swiss authorities

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, April 14: A Tibetan activist in Switzerland has filed a law suit against Bern’s cantonal police and the capital’s security director over unfair treatment have meted out to the Tibetan demonstrators during the Chinese President’s visit to the country earlier in January.

The Tibetan man who took part in the rally in Bern during Xi Jinping’s state visit has accused the Bernese cantonal police and the city of Bern’s Security Director, Reto Nause of abuse and coercion in his law suit, reports swissinfo.ch.

17965256_1489640271080378_147472163_nTo prevent the kind of confrontation received by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin during his state visit in 1999, large numbers of police were deployed and Tibetans were allowed to assemble only at a safe distance from the parliament square where Chinese groups stood to welcome their president with flags.

In 1999, during a visit by China’s then President Jiang Zemin, activists took to roofs overlooking the Swiss Parliament with banners demanding “Free Tibet”. Police intervened in time to stop activists from throwing eggs at the Chinese delegation. Jiang questioned Swiss leaders’ control over their country and remarked that they risked ‘losing a good friend’.

The Association of Tibetan Youth in Europe said 32-activists were detained by the police. Off the 32 activists, 14 of them were detained near the Swiss parliament building in the afternoon as they waved posters which read “Free Tibet” and “Don’t Deal With Killers.” The police prevented a Tibetan man from setting himself on fire and maintained the activists protested past the time restriction. The Swiss government received much criticism, including its left-wing politician for kowtowing to China and undermining the Tibetans’ right to freedom of expression during the tightly orchestrated visit of the Chinese President.