Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of The United States of America
Maria Otero, Undersecretary of State for Human Rights
January 24, 2012
Dear Ms. Clinton and Ms. Otero,
Chinese security forces opened fire on unarmed Tibetan protesters in Drango, Kardze yesterday (as reported by the Washinton Post http://wapo.st/yEoskr) which resulted in the fatal wounding of three demonstrators and serious injury to at least 30 others. This followed an incident last week where security forces opened fire on an unarmed crowd in Ngaba injuring a number of Tibetans.
In the light of the recent self-immolations by Tibetan nuns and monks, the growing number of demonstrations inside Tibet and the extreme response being taken by Chinese security forces, I would call upon you and our government to speak up for Tibetans’ human rights and condemn China’s abhorrent use of force on unarmed Tibetans.
Ms. Clinton and Ms. Otero, you have been outspoken and consistent in defending human rights and supporting political and economic freedom in many troubled areas around the globe. Please now take the time to speak up for and defend the rights of the Tibetan people before there is even greater bloodshed.
With the Chinese New Year having just been celebrated and the Tibetan New Year falling on February 22nd, closely followed by the 53rd commemoration of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10th, there is real danger of an escalation in tensions that could result in the loss of many lives.
In view of this, it is increasingly critical that you, on behalf of our government publicly condemn the actions of the Chinese security forces. At the same time there must be an urgent call on the Chinese government to show restraint in its response to Tibetans who are doing no more than exercising their fundamental human right to peacefully demonstrate, to express their long and deep held grievances against Chinese government rule and to show their great sadness and pain over the self-immolations by nuns and monks.
The United States government has asserted that its aspiration is to see long-term stability for Tibet. In the rapidly deteriorating situation inside Tibet, now would be a key time for The U.S. to lead the way and urge world governments to multi-laterally encourage and support the Chinese government to give consideration to the Tibetan people’s grievances, engage in points of substance and set in place practical mechanisms whereby a meaningful and productive dialogue could begin.
China’s actions in Tibet show a complete disregard to basic human rights. Its policy of quashing any form of demonstration or criticism through increasing instances of arbitrary arrests, trials conducted without access to independent representation, meting out of draconian prison sentences, torture whilst in detention and now even more extreme measures such as firing on unarmed crowds, illustrate an ever more flagrant contempt of international standards. If governments do not consistently stand up and condemn China’s actions, it is tantamount to giving China carte blanche to continue its appalling policies unabated.
For China to be part of the international community it must adhere to international norms and principles. If China is allowed to continue its policies inside Tibet unchecked, the world could witness a horrific and tragic meltdown. We will all have responsibility for having allowed it to happen.
This is a modified version from an article by Tibet Society and their similar request to William Hague in London on January 24th, 2012. Bit.ly/2401TS