December 10 is International Human Rights Day around the world, and it’s an appropriate time to list all the human rights violations perpetuated upon its citizens by the country with the worst human rights record on earth: China.
China has no freedom of speech, of religion, of a fair trial, of assembly. It’s a giant police state controlled by the Communist government, a dictatorship that is obsessed with keeping its power and crushing dissent. China overthrew the independent nation of Tibet in 1950, destroyed its monasteries, stole its artifacts, and turned it into a resource extraction colony. China now forces Tibetan schools to teach in Chinese and is obliterating their cultural heritage. Tibet has been described as the least free place on earth, along with Syria. No journalists or tourists are allowed to go there without government minders.
There are 2 million or 3 million Uighurs in slave labor prisons — no one knows how many for sure — being subjected to a genocide of terrible proportions. Falun Gong practitioners are imprisoned for practicing their yoga-like religion. In a billion dollar industry, the internal human organs of members of marginalized groups detained in Chinese prison camps are being forcefully harvested — “sometimes when patients are still alive,” an international tribunal in London has concluded (NBC News, June 2019).
Hong Kong democracy activists are captured and imprisoned without fair trials. People are disappeared and tortured for expressing their beliefs or displaying their art.
The winter Olympics in Beijing, starting in a few months, are an attempt to “sport-wash” their brutal regime’s policies. That is why protests are held at NBC headquarters across America, and why President Biden has called for a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in China this winter.
The Han Chinese majority has taken over and controlled other ethnic minorities to keep their power. China is creating war islands in the oceans, infringing on international borders in India, forcing neighboring countries like Nepal to return refugees, building nuclear missile silos, and buying their way into foreign governments. You can be arrested for having a picture of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, respected around the world, who is one of the millions of Tibetan refugees forced to flee their homeland. This is all why there are hundreds of Tibet support groups, and now Uighur and democracy and Hong Kong support groups around the world, protesting these Chinese Communist government policies.
China is on the wrong side of human existence. What can be done? Write U.S. politicians to keep human rights on their agenda with China. Try first to buy American products instead of those made in China. Convince Amazon to have a USA flag on products they sell that are verified to be made in America. Google search the issues above and learn about them. Visit the web sites of Tibet Support groups like Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet, www.santabarbaratibet.org and www.facebook.com/sbfot, the International Campaign for Tibet, www.savetibet.org, Students for a free Tibet www.studentsforafreetibet.org, etc. Help local Tibet cultural groups like the Tibetan Associations of Southern and Northern California. Attend our protests in front of the Chinese consulates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Above all, appreciate the freedoms we have here in America.
Kevin Young is a member of the Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet.