Geneva: The deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet under the control of Chinese government was yet again brought to the attention by the UN member states at the 39th UN Human Rights Council session concluded on Friday, this week. According to the statement released by the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the three-week UN human rights session from 10th to 28th September was joined by “representatives from 150 States, 303 non-governmental organizations and 27 national human rights institutions”.
Highlighting China’s gross violation of human rights, several member states including EU, Germany, UK, Canada, Finland and France called upon China to release all human rights defenders including Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan language rights advocate.
Germany expressed its deep concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in China. The statement delivered by the delegation stated Germany remained “deeply concerned” over situation in religious and ethnic minority areas in particular “Tibetans who suffered from systematic discrimination”. Germany urged China to “fully cooperate with UN Special procedure”. The delegation called upon China to release all human rights defender including Tashi Wangchuk, and further called upon China to “immediately close all re-education camps”.
Similarly, the European Union expressed its concern over “expansion of political re-education camps” and called upon China to release all detained human rights defenders. The United Kingdom also called upon China to “release those detained for peacefully exercising their rights”.
Expressing concern over “credible report” of China’s violation of human rights, the delegation from Canada said “This is contrary to international human rights commitments taken by China, its constitution as well as the UN global strategy to counter-terrorism”. Finland seeks to have “dialogue” with China on human rights.
In her maiden statement on human rights situation around the world in the opening of the session on 10th September, Michelle Bachelet, the newly elected High Commissioner for Human Rights, informed that the office has received human rights reports including the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s concluding observation report on China.
“In light of these reports, we would request the Government to permit access for the Office to all regions of China, and trust we will embark on discussion of these issues”- said Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
On 17th September, sidelining the UN Human Rights Council’s 39th regular session, Society for Threatened Peoples, an international group protecting minority peoples who are threatened by oppressive regimes, organised a side event titled ‘Human Rights in China-Seeking Solutions: The Case of Tibet Autonomous Region and the areas where Tibetans live.’ The event featured two prominent speakers: Dhardon Sharling, Secretary for Information, Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration and Taisuke Komatsu from International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR). Adrien-Claude Zoller, President of Geneva for Human Rights, moderated the session.
Filed by OoT Geneva