Fighting For The Truth: Gonpo Kyi’s Relentless Fight For Dorje Tashi

International Desk
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Tibet, which was unlawfully occupied by China, is the least-free country on earth. According to a report released by freedom watchdog Freedom House, Tibet has a global freedom score of 1 out of 100. The report mentions how Tibetans are subjected to illegal detention, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, denial of due process in criminal matters, and torture in jails.

The case of Dorjee Tashi and Gonpo Kyi’s unrelenting fight for justice talks volumes about China’s mechanisms that are subjecting Tibetans to torture and injustice and the deep-rooted corruption and lawlessness that prevail in the system run by the Chinese Communist Party.


Dorje Tashi is a business entrepreneur arrested after the March 2008 protests in Lhasa, accused of funding overseas Tibetan groups and sentenced to life in prison on June 26, 2010. On 10 July 2008, he was detained in Lhasa by security officers for allegedly funding the protests of 14 March 2008 that sparked a widespread uprising in many parts of Tibet. He was framed as a “secessionist” by spiteful and vindictive political and party leaders taking advantage of the political situation in the wake of the mass Tibetan protests.

He was held in a Public Security Bureau detention center in Lhasa where he was interrogated and brutally tortured for four months. Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy has reported that, while in prison, he was deprived of timely food and water, his wounds were left unattended, he was forced to stay awake without sleep, and he was later put in solitary confinement. Dorjee Tashi’s testimony about the torture and ill-treatment he experienced during his pre-trial detention reveals the painstakingly difficult situations he was forced to go through. Dorje Tashi also reportedly staged a 15-day hunger strike to protest his wrongful imprisonment but was forced to take an IV drip by prison guards. In 2012, when Dorje Tashi refused to wear a prison uniform for six months, he was not allowed to see his family. His lawyers also faced multiple barriers in securing a meeting with his client despite numerous attempts and the rules kept deferring Dorje Tashi’s appeal process for six years, according to a report by TCHRD.

According to reports by International Campaign for Tibet, before the COVID-19 outbreak in Tibet, Dorjee Tashi’s elder sister, Gonpo Kyi, staged sit-ins before the People’s Court in Lhasa in June 2022 demanding justice for her brother. In December 2022, Kyi staged a peaceful protest calling for her brother’s release outside a courthouse in Lhasa until security guards took her into custody. She also staged sit-ins outside another courthouse in the capital in June 2022. Dorjee Tashi's brother, Dorjee Tseten, has also been demanding justice for his brother for years. He posted several video clips on the situation of Dorjee Tashi on January 6, 20323, including his brother Tashi's worsening health condition, the fact that he has not been able to visit his brother even after trying several times, and he has not been able to see Tashi since 2019.

Despite the police threat, a determined Gonpo staged a protest on March 20, 2023, seeking justice for her brother, who is serving a life sentence. Unlike her previous four protests in front of the TAR Higher People’s Court, when she was removed from the site with warnings, the police from Lhasa Middle Road police station manhandled her. They forced her to the police station this time for overnight detention. During the detention, the police beat Gonpo. In a video clip, Gonpo is seen lying on the floor inside the Lhasa Liberation Road police station. & she shows the bruises on her upper right arm from the police beating. Undeterred by police violence and attempts to intimidate her, Gonpo Kyi defiantly organized a protest outside the TAR Higher People's Court on April 23 and 24. Despite maintaining a peaceful approach during the demonstration, the authorities sought to silence her by using long black sheets to conceal her protest.

On 26 April, Gonpo Kyi and her spouse were apprehended by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers in Lhasa and were released the following night on 27 April, as reported by Radio Free Asia. During their detention, they were reportedly subjected to physical abuse, rigorous questioning and warned not to engage in such activities in the future. Recent videos have shown her protesting on 11th May and 16th May and police dragging her away from the protest site.

Gonpo accuses the Chinese court in Lhasa of double standards and discrimination against Tibetans. She argues that a Chinese businessman and his wife who were indicted for loan fraud and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment were released after serving 10 years, whereas her brother continues to be behind bars for the 15th year of his life imprisonment sentence.

International Support

In a statement released in September 2022, the European Union urged China to “ensure full respect for the rule of law, to guarantee procedural fairness and due process of law”, and called for the immediate and unconditional release of, among others, Dorjee Tashi, Go Sherab Gyatso & Rinchen Tsultrim".

Tibet advocacy and research groups have been highlighting the case and Gonpo Kyi’s protests and calling on the international community, governments, and United Nations human rights experts to urgently raise Dorjee Tashi’s case with the government of China. International Campaign for Tibet’s Vincent Metten emphasized the continued and systematic infliction of torture on Tibetans, as illustrated by the case of Dorjee Tashi, at the recent 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Human Rights Watch has also highlighted his case along with many other Tibetans wrongfully imprisoned in connection with the 2008 protests.

Why the World Should Take Notice

Dorjee Tashi is one among the many Tibetans in arbitrary detention in occupied Tibet under the Chinese Communist Party today. Renowned Tibetan writer, intellectual, and monk, Go Sherab Gyatso, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a secret trial for the “crime” of writing essays critical of Chinese government policies restricting freedom of expression in Tibet. There have been reports of his deteriorating health conditions. Rinchen Tsultrim, a Tibetan monk was arrested and sentenced to four years and six months in prison for inciting “separatism” for the posts he made on social media about religious and political issues in Tibet. A-Nya Sengdra, a Tibetan nomad and environmental activist from eastern Tibet, was arrested and charged on false charges linked to his peaceful activism as an environmentalist, community leader, and anti-corruption activist.

Tibet’s Panchen Lama who was abducted by China when he was just 6 years of age is the world’s youngest political prisoner. Even after 28 years, the whereabouts of Panchen Lama and his family remain unknown. Meanwhile, China has appointed a fake Panchen Lama, who is a mere puppet in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Many Tibetan monks and nuns have been detained and forced to undergo political reeducation as part of the CCP’s Sinicization agenda.

Dorjee Tashi case is an instance of blatant violation of the fundamental rights of Tibetans in their own homeland. This is a serious breach of international law and safeguards in place. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful. The legal safeguards for the detained Tibetans in occupied Tibet are grossly inadequate despite Chinese claims of removing corruption.

The tight information blockade that China maintains in Tibet makes it more difficult to access information about the case. Foreign journalists are routinely denied entry to Tibet and even those who are allowed have to face several restrictions while reporting and traveling.

The international community should push for an independent fact-finding mission to Tibet. It has been 24 years since a UN Human Rights Commissioner visited Tibet. The last independent UN Fact-finding Mission visited Tibet in 1985. No meaningful investigation has taken place regarding the treatment of Tibetans, while arbitrary detentions, prison deaths, self-immolation incidents, and enforced disappearances continue to happen in Tibet. Any independent fact-finding mission should push for the release of arbitrarily detained Tibetans like Dorjee Tashi.

China's monitoring tactics of Uyghurs are disturbing: Report

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Amid inadequate media coverage of the ongoing persecution of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, one could say that such reports are episodic. Writing in the Toronto Star Michael Levitt says that world attention on the plight of the Uyghur has reduced. He also states that Uyghur persecution in China is one of the "most egregious and appalling" crimes against humanity, Greek City Times reported. However, according to the latest Al Jazeera report by Erin Hale published on May 4, 2023, which cites a Human Rights Watch (HRW) forensic investigation reveals that Chinese authorities have monitored the phones of the ethnic minority Uyghur for the presence of 50,000 known multimedia files that were used to flag what China views as extremism, with the mere possession of the Quran reason enough to trigger a police interrogation.

Greek City Times is a leading Greek lifestyle site, reporting and updating about Greek culture. If mere possession of the Quran can lead to a police interrogation, one can well imagine what else could happen for other related offences, Greek City Times reported.

The HRW Search found more than 1,000 unique files on about 1,400 Urumqi residents' phones that matched those on the master list of the police. Analysis of these files has revealed that 57 per cent appeared to be common Islamic religious materials, including readings of every surah (chapter) of the Quran. Chinese security services have a long list of "violent and terrorist" content which includes violent audio, video and images produced by armed groups such as ISIS, Greek City Times reported.

It also includes material from organisations that promote the identity or self-determination of Uyghur, including the separatist East Turkestan Independence Movement, World Uyghur Congress, and the United States government-funded news outlet Radio Free Asia. The files also include information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which is heavily censored in China.

Al Jazeera reports that the master list analysed by HRW is part of a wider 52GB trove of documents from a Xinjiang police database that was leaked to the Intercept, a US-based media outlet in 2019, but not made public until now. In recent years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has increased its repression of the Uyghur which includes state-imposed restrictions on religious freedom, language rights, cultural expression, and freedom of movement.

Since 2017, the Chinese government has detained more than a million Uyghur in what it calls "re-education camps" and subjected those not detained to extensive surveillance, religious restrictions, forced labour and involuntary sterilization, Greek City Times reported. Researchers in the West have described it as "the largest incarceration of a minority group since the holocaust".

Last year, a UN Human Rights office report revealed "patterns of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" in the camps. Most people detained in the camps were never charged and had no legal avenue to challenge their detentions. Often many are denounced by the CPC as extremists or terrorists for simply practising their religion. Intimidation of Uyghur abroad by China is also commonplace, including efforts to detain and deport them back to China. It has also pressurised other governments to repatriate those who have fled China.

Notably, China continues to use its vast influence to manipulate UN processes and to ensure that its allies avoid public acknowledgement of the persecution of the Uyghur. Following the release of the OHCHR report, the UN Human Rights Council voted down a motion in October 2022 by the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to hold a debate on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, marking only the second time in sixteen years that the council rejected a motion, Greek City Times reported.

The rejection was condemned by Uyghur activist groups, many of whom helped lead advocacy efforts around the resolution and called it a major setback for accountability efforts and the credibility of the Human Rights Council. That the repression of the Uyghur continues in one way or the other is therefore worrisome. The list of content being monitored by the CPC according to HRW, also includes non-political material such as the Chinese travel show filmed in Syria called "On the Road", readings from the Quran and Islamic songs.

While the police officially monitor Uyghur phones for "extremist" material, HRW says that in many cases, ethnic Muslims are flagged as supporters of violent extremism for simply practising Islam. Chinese police in Urumqi also require residents to download an app called JingwangWeishi. This app gives Chinese authorities the ability to monitor the contents of their mobile phones. Visitors to Xinjiang are also required to download a similar app called Fengcai. The HRW forensic investigation shows that only nine per cent of the flagged files contained violent content and 4 per cent contained content calling for violence, Greek City Times reported.

An investigation by HRW into the metadata of this master list found that during nine months from 2017 to 2018, police conducted nearly 11 million searches of a total of 1.2 million mobile phones in Xinjiang's capital city Urumqi. Xinjiang's automated police mass surveillance systems enabled this phone search. Similarly, a leaked list of 2,000 detainees at a re-education facility in Aksu prefecture in 2018 showed that 10 per cent had been detained for downloading "violent and terrorist" multimedia or having a connection to someone who downloaded it, Greek City Times reported.

Uyghur Muslims are thus subject to heavy surveillance as part of the CPC's efforts to eliminate cultural, linguistic, and religious differences from the country's majority Han culture. Michael Levitt correctly sums up the need to stand up for the Uyghur now. He argues that the post-Holocaust vow of "Never Again" should be updated to "Never Again Now.", Greek City Times reported.

That means the world must use all means at its disposal to step up pressure against China to end its genocidal persecution of the Uyghurs. (ANI)



US, Chinese commerce chiefs raise complaints on trade, investment, export policies

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US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao traded barbs on trade, investment and export policies in talks on Thursday (May 25) described by Raimondo's office as "candid and substantive".

Their meeting in Washington was the first US-China cabinet-level exchange in months, after a string of trade and national security irritants derailed plans for re-engagement between the world's two largest economies.

"The two had candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the US-China commercial relationship, including the overall environment in both countries for trade and investment and areas for potential cooperation," the Commerce Department said in a statement.

"Secretary Raimondo also raised concerns about the recent spate of PRC (People's Republic of China) actions taken against US companies operating in the PRC," the statement added.

Wang raised key concerns about US policies toward China, including on semiconductors, export controls and reviews of foreign investments, a Chinese Commerce Ministry statement said.

Both sides agreed to establish and maintain open communication channels, with Raimondo's office saying that would help "responsibly manage the relationship".

China's Commerce Ministry said the communications would allow exchanges on specific economic trade concerns and cooperation matters.

Wang is also expected to meet with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on the sidelines of an APEC trade ministers meeting in Detroit that wraps up on Friday.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged more frequent communications at a G20 summit in Indonesia last November to avoid US-China tensions from spilling into a new Cold War.

But those plans suffered several setbacks, starting with the downing of a Chinese spy balloon in US coastal waters.

These irritants continued through last Sunday, when Group of Seven (G7) leaders pledged to resist China's "economic coercion" and Beijing responded by declaring US memory chip maker Micron Technology a national security risk, banning its sales to key domestic industries.

The ban followed a series of raids on American consultancies in China.

On Monday, Wang met representatives of American firms in Shanghai, including Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Dow, Merck, and Honeywell, according to the Ministry of Commerce, telling them that "China will continue to welcome US-funded enterprises to develop in China and achieve win-win results".

China has complained about the growing number of US export restrictions on advanced semiconductors and other high technology goods that could have military applications and security reviews that discourage Chinese investment in the United States.

Wang's trip to the US comes after G7 leaders met in Hiroshima, at which US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders took aim at China over "economic coercion" and said they would "de-risk" without "decoupling" from the world's second-largest economy in everything from chips to minerals.

Raimondo, Blinken, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have all expressed interest in visiting China.


US warns China could hack infrastructure, including pipelines, rail systems

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The US State Department warned on Thursday (May 25) that China was capable of launching cyber attacks against critical infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines and rail systems, after researchers discovered a Chinese hacking group had been spying on such networks.

A multi-nation alert issued on Wednesday revealed the Chinese cyberespionage campaign had been aimed at military and government targets in the United States.

The Chinese government has rejected assertions that its spies are going after Western targets, calling the warning issued by the United States and its allies a "collective disinformation campaign".

US officials said they were still in the process of getting their arms around the threat.

"We’ve had at least one location that we didn’t know about since the hunt guide was released come forward with data and information," Rob Joyce, the US National Security Agency's (NSA) cybersecurity director, told Reuters. The agency disclosed technical details earlier to help critical service providers detect the spying.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) separately said it was working to understand "the breadth of potential intrusions and associated impacts".

That would help it "provide assistance where needed, and more effectively understand the tactics undertaken by this adversary", CISA's executive assistant director, Eric Goldstein, told Reuters.

Part of the challenge in defending against this espionage work is that it's more covert than regular spy operations, according to researchers and officials.

"In these cases the adversary is often using legitimate credentials and legitimate network administration tools to gain access to execute their objectives on a target network," Goldstein said. "Many traditional methods of detection, such as antivirus, will not find these intrusions."

Microsoft analysts who identified the campaign, which they dubbed Volt Typhoon, said it "could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia region during future crises" - a nod to escalating US-China tensions over Taiwan and other issues.

"The US intelligence community assesses that China almost certainly is capable of launching cyberattacks that could disrupt critical infrastructure services within the United States, including against oil and gas pipelines and rail systems," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a press briefing.

"It's vital for government and network defenders in the public to stay vigilant."

US agencies have been pushing for improved cybersecurity practices in its majority-privately held critical infrastructure industry, after the 2021 hack of the key Colonial Pipeline disrupted nearly half of the US East Coast’s fuel supply.

Intelligence agencies in the United States, Britain and their close allies issued an alert on Wednesday to warn about Volt Typhoon. Microsoft said the group had targeted critical infrastructure organisations in the US Pacific territory of Guam, and it was using the security firm Fortinet's FortiGuard devices to break into target's networks.

Researcher Marc Burnard, whose organisation Secureworks has dealt with several intrusions tied to Volt Typhoon, said Secureworks had seen no evidence of destructive activity by Volt Typhoon, but that its hackers were focused on stealing information that would "shed light on US military activities".

NSA's Joyce said there was no doubt Volt Typhoon was putting itself in position to carry out disruptive attacks.

"It’s clear that some of the entities on here are of no intelligence value," he told Reuters of the critical infrastructure sites identified by the government.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters that the alerts issued by the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were intended to promote their intelligence alliance - known as the Five Eyes - and it was Washington that was guilty of hacking.

"The United States is the empire of hacking," Mao said.

Source: Reuters



Rajiv Gandhi University secured 16th Rank amongst the Central University across the nation

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The Indian Institutional Ranking Framework ( IIRF ) University Ranking 2023 was released on 25th May 2023, wherein the Rajiv Gandhi University secured 16th Rank amongst the Central University (Overall) across the nation. The ranking is based on 7 performance indicators – Academic Excellence, Research, Placement Performance, Corporate Interface, Placement Strategies and Support, Teaching Learning Resources & Pedagogy and Future Orientation. RGU deserves accolade for the spectacular achievement despite lot of bottlenecks in terms of infrastructure, connectivity, etc.

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, has topped the list. Reflecting the growth of the higher education sector in the NER, six north-eastern universities have made it to the top 20 central universities (overall) list. Other than RGU, it included Mizoram University (Aizawl), Tezpur University (Sonitpur, Assam), North-Eastern Hill University (Shillong, Meghalaya), Sikkim University (Gangtok) and Assam University (Silchar).

The Indian Institutional Ranking Framework (IIRF) ranks more than 1,000 institutions (300+ Universities, 350 Engineering colleges, 150+ B-Schools, 50 Law colleges, 50 Design schools, 50 Architecture colleges and 100+ Undergraduate colleges for BBA & BCA) across the country. IIRF is presented and published by Education Post since 2012.

FEDERATION FOR WORLD ACADEMICS (FWA) guides the methodology and industrial feedback plays the role of Mentor for IIRF Centre for Institutional Research (ICIR) in India. The IIRF ranking is based on concrete analysis by the experts and stands as the most diverse and authentic ranking in India accepted by corporate world.

The Rajiv Gandhi University administration take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all the faculty members, administrative staff, students, alumni and all the stakeholders who have made this achievement possible. Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice Chancellor, RGU, shared ‘this is a small step towards the goals of excellence that the university has set for itself and such recognition reaffirms that the university is going in the right direction.’ He further informed that RGU is also all set to get the 3rd cycle of accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).