Tibetan activists protest against US company for mass DNA collection

On Friday, Tibetan activists in Dharamshala organised demonstrations against China’s strategy of mass DNA collecting and called for an end to the region’s discrimination against Tibetans. 

The use of DNA samples from Tibetan children as young as five years old by China to bolster its programme of mass surveillance using Thermo Fisher kits alarmed Tibetan NGOs protesting during the demonstrations, according to Tibet Rights Collective.

While speaking to ANI, the President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) said, “Today we, the four Tibetan major non-government organisations of Tibet are here. We have about 120 NGOs all around the world organising different actions, considering today is the global week of action regarding DNA collection inside Tibet.”

As part of the Global Week of Action, the NDPT leader stated that the policy of mass DNA collection introduced by the Chinese government is how the country is building a database of DNA to surveil the Tibetan people.

“With this DNA we fear that China is right now building a database of DNA so it surely gives China unfettered power to yet commit more human rights violations against Tibetans, this will also help China in the surveillance of Tibetan people,” he added.

Tibetan non-governmental organisations, such as Students for a Free Tibet, International Tibet Network, Tibetan Women’s Association, Tibetan Youth Congress, National Democratic Party of Tibet, Free Tibet, Chushi Gandruk, and Tibetan National Congress, among others, have called for Thermo Fisher to conduct a thorough investigation into their work under the law and fight for the human rights of Tibetans in Tibet during a global week of action from January 30 to February 5, according to Tibet Rights Collective.

“Today, our major issue is Thermo Fisher Scientific, a US products company. China has been using this product since 2012. They are using this product as a DNA production method. Till now, reports have shown that 1.2 million DNA samples have been collected without their consent, Since 1949, there have been no basic human rights in Tibet,” the Joint secretary of the Central Tibetan women’s Association (CTWA) told ANI.

Today these four organisations are here, to request and urge international bodies and non-governmental organisations to investigate more on Thermo Fisher Scientific and how its product has been used, she said.

Activists are leading a global protest against the Chinese government’s violation of Tibetans’ human rights in Tibet and at Chinese embassies across the world. 

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Tibet has been subject to Chinese occupation and repression. 

Even if you are personally far from Beijing’s totalitarian authority, it was well known among Tibetans that if you have relatives or connections in Tibet, you must be apolitical. Due to your acts, which occurred outside of Beijing’s purview, your family members were promptly detained, threatened, and even sentenced, according to Tibet Press.

News Desk

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