British activist: "Tibet has fallen off the international agenda"

Free Tibet

British human rights activist Benedict Rogers has raised alarm over the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) treatment of Tibet and Xinjiang as its ‘laboratory’ for developing a surveillance state and sinicization of all religions throughout the country.

In the wake of recent reports of mass DNA surveillance in Tibet, Rogers told the Delhi-based advocacy group Tibet Rights Collective that it is chilling how Beijing is now rolling these repressive policies out this throughout China and into Hong Kong.

“As the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy put it in a very important report on surveillance and censorship in Tibet in 2020, the changes in Tibet over the last decade represent a systemized social control mechanism that ignores human rights … Online surveillance, CCTV cameras, bugged homes, and checkpoints provide simple instruments of observation and monitoring to expand the influence of the State,” he said.

Rogers also cited Tibet expert Professor Dibyesh Anand that there are “cameras observing every house”.

Answering a question on the long-awaited visit of the UN Human Rights chief to Tibet, Rogers said he is “very concerned that Tibet has rather fallen off the international agenda.”

“Firstly, the atrocities faced by the Uyghurs and the crackdown in Hong Kong have, understandably, gained more attention in recent years. That is good and they need that attention, and their plight reflects another dimension of the same problem which Tibet faces – CCP repression…,” he told Tibet Rights Collective.

According to Rogers, for many years Tibet was in people’s minds, thanks to the international role of Dalai Lama and the work of Hollywood celebrities such as Richard Gere.

“However, now His Holiness is less able to travel internationally, and at the same time world leaders, due to pressure from Beijing, have been more reluctant to engage with him, and China’s influence in Hollywood has grown so film stars are less willing to take up the cause of Tibet, and this has meant Tibet has received less attention,” he said.

On the Chinese government’s efforts to restrict Buddhism practice in Tibet, he said, it is completely absurd that a Communist Party regime which seeks to suppress religion and spirituality thinks that it can take upon itself the role of determining the reincarnation of His Holiness.

The expert contends this is a completely contradictory and ridiculous position and “no doubt that Tibetan Buddhists will never accept it.”

Benedict Rogers, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Watch, is coming up with a new book titled: “The China Nexus: Thirty Years In and Around the Chinese Communist Party’s Tyranny”.

He told Tibet Rights Collective that his new book aims to tell the story of the CCP regime’s repression and human rights violations across the board.

Rogers says he aims to highlight the crackdown on civil society, lawyers, media and dissidents throughout mainland China.

He also wishes to provide widespread attention to the barbaric practice of forced organ harvesting particularly targeting Falun Gong, the atrocities in Tibet, the genocide of the Uyghurs, the repression in Hong Kong and the threats to Taiwan.

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