ICT Tibet Report Ignores Suffering Of Tibetan Women

Video Extract ‘Undercover in Tibet’ Courtesy of Bho Gyalo

We invite Mr Richard Gere of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) to comment if he regards the testimony offered by the Tibetan woman featured in the interview above, as exaggerated, or untruthful? Furthermore, does he consider such atrocities are not inflicted upon Tibetan women? If so on what basis does he reach such a conclusion?

Reports on Tibet published by the International Campaign for Tibet omit any any words of concern regarding China’s forced sterilizations of Tibetan women. Let’s allow that to sink in…a leading organization on the issue of Tibet that releases a highly detailed appraisals of China’s genocidal policies in occupied Tibet chooses to ignore and exclude any critical reference or examination, of what is a major human rights violation against women!

The solitary mention of family planning within its report from 2012 actually endorsed China’s propaganda claims that Tibetans are exempt from such coercive population control measures “The Chinese state’s positive discrimination’ policies—both those to assist individual Tibetans,such as educational admissions preferences and family planning exceptions” (page 5) How singularly curious that while highly critical in exposing a range of China’s distortions and violations concerning Tibet, the ICT on this issue is so charmingly credulous in not only accepting China’s propaganda on this troubling subject, but has felt it important to assert that claim as fact!

The foreword by then ICT President Mary Beth Markey welcomes “a constructive examination of the concepts put forward in this report by international law and country studies experts, human rights advocates, policy makers, peoples whose cultural rights have been abused by the state and others who have a stake in understanding the kind of cultural and human rights violations that have characterized the situation in Tibet.”

In that spirit of positive investigation perhaps Mr Gere would care to explain why it was that his organization chooses to ignore entirely atrocities suffered by Tibetan women, which have been carefully documented and reported over the years, with a wealth of detailed testimony and reports. All of which demonstrate that while China may well assert a relaxation of its notorious one child policy in occupied lands such as Tibet, the reality is that Tibetan women are being forcibly sterilized, and subject to a range of human rights abuses associated with the implementation of what remains a coercive population control program.

The nature and extent of such violations is deeply disturbing and has been documented since at least 1979, yet the existence of what is a compelling body of evidence, eye-witness reports, personal testimony and other accounts,some from Chinese sources, is consistently ignored by the ICT.

We can only presume that in its eagerness to accept the official assertions of China’s regime that Tibetans are exempt from the odious excesses of coercive birth control, it considers such accounts as unreliable and insufficiently convincing, the traumatized experiences of Tibetan women, whose lives are forever scarred by the horror of being forcibly sterilized, are it would appear, greeted with a mercilessly skeptical response by the International Campaign For Tibet. Interesting that such skepticism is reserved only for this issue, while reports detailing other areas of human rights abuses are widely reported and opposed by the ICT! We wonder why the testimony of Tibetan monks is invested with unquestioned credibility, yet accounts of Tibetan women who suffer China’s forced sterilizations are placed under the microscope and then dismissed as unreliable, not verifiable or uncorroborated?

The fact is that such reports are as equally credible and disturbing as any other instance of human rights atrocity in occupied Tibet and surely demand the attention and action of organizations dedicated to exposing China’s violent oppression of Tibet and its culture. Such abuses have a long and disturbing record in Tibet, as reflected by the statement of a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women,

“Women in Tibet continue to undergo hardship and are also subjected to gender-specific crimes, including reproductive rights violations such as forced sterilization, forced abortion, coercive birth control policies and the monitoring of menstrual cycles. There have been many reports of Tibetan women prisoners facing brutality and torture in custody” (UN Commission on Human Rights-Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, 27th February 2003)

Unfortunately the agonizing suffering that China’s population control program inflicts upon women in Tibet is callously rejected by the International Campaign for Tibet, which clearly regards China’s claims on the subject as more truthful and credible than the testimony of Tibetan women. Why is it that a hugely resourced, informed and specialist organization is so unwilling or unable to see the disturbing truth that Tibetan women are subject to such atrocities? Instead preferring to peddle China’s disinformation, which was exposed as such in 2008 by Jezza Neumann, British television producer whose film ‘Undercover in Tibet’ reported on the subject:

“China maintains that it doesn’t implement its one-child policy in minority regions such as Tibet, but we discovered that this wasn’t true. One woman told us how she’d been subjected to a forced sterilisation. The secret police broke into her house and said they would take all of her belongings if she didn’t go with them. Aspirin was the only anaesthetic she was given before they cut her open.“ (The Independent March 31, 2008)

Such gross violations are either being denied by the International Campaign for Tibet, or regarded as being of insufficient concern as to feature, Tibetan women terrorized by China’s population control officials have little indeed to be grateful for to the ICT.

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