I knew very little about politics and the world at the time, but that little was enough to remember Communist propaganda that was sometimes mentioned on TV celebrating a happy and florid land (images of beautiful Red Square on Moscow were in display) where people where not interested in “western freedoms,” but instead enjoyed “real equality”. After all, I was born in Italy, a country that had the biggest Communist party of western Europe, so I had some easy access to that propaganda.
When in 1989, I saw the images of the people of Berlin celebrating the fall of the Soviet system, it was clear to me who was lying and who was telling the truth.
Today, China, although still formally ruled by the Communist Party, is far different from the Soviet Union. Decades ago it decided to wholeheartedly embrace capitalism; a decision that has led to significant economic growth over the last 15 years.
What is not too different from the communist systems is the propaganda about justice and equality; has capitalism, without freedom and the rule of law – brought equality, in particular in Tibet, as the Chinese government claims?
Last week, ICT challenged China’s assertion that Tibetans enjoy equal social and economic rights and we did it in the place where all countries of the world are, in theory, supposed to be accountable for the respect of basic human rights.
ICT Germany’s Executive Director Kai Muller took the floor at the United Nations in Geneva and gave a clear testimony before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that was reviewing China’s record.
You can read Kai’s testimony here. His case was particularly compelling regarding the forced relocation of Tibetan nomads, the denial of the right to education for Tibetan children and the control on religious freedom in Tibet.