Geneva: On 3 July 2020, during the ongoing 44th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, CTA’s Special Appointee for Human Rights at Tibet Bureau Geneva, Ms Thinlay Chukki urged the UNHRC to hold a special session on China.
Thinlay Chukki urged the UNHRC and the member states to “heed the joint-call by the special rapporteur on education and other 49 UN experts to hold a special UNHRC session and to establish a special rapporteur” to evaluate and report annually on the human rights violations carried out by the government of China in Tibet, Hong Kong and East Turkestan (CHN: Xinjiang) and other regions under China.
Delivering oral statement during the interactive discussion with Special Rapporteur on Education, Thinlay Chukki emphasized how Tibetans were already deprived of the right to education much before the outbreak of the Wuhan originated Covid-19 pandemic. She reiterated that “the Covid-19 pandemic which was first detected in China has had an appalling impact on the marginalized suppressed people like the Tibetans who are now suffering under double-lockdown by the government of China.”
Highlighting the case of Panchen Lama, Thinlay said: “for 25 years Tibet’s religious leader 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima has been denied of religious education and is kept under enforced disappearance by China for 25 years now.” She further urged the UNHRC to “press China to free Panchen Lama and to release education rights advocates like Tashi Wangchuk, Sonam Palden and other Tibetan prisoners like A-nya Sengdra who have been sentenced on false charges without access to independent and fair judicial process and to stop the persecution of Tibetan human rights defenders including the education rights advocates.”
The 44th regular session of the UNHRC commenced on 30 June under much restricted modalities in view of the global pandemic and tentatively scheduled to close on 17 July 2020. Just before the commencement of the 44th session, 30 special procedure mandates comprising of 50 independent UN experts issued an unprecedented press statement calling on UNHRC to renew its attention on the human rights situation in China, “particularly in light of the moves against the people of the Hong Kong SAR, minorities of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and human rights defenders across the country.”
Thanking the UN experts for their timely intervention and strongly supporting their calls, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay in his statement had noted that the “unchecked, systemic, and egregious violations by the government of China with impunity in Tibet has emboldened it to carry out similar violations in Xinjiang and now Hong Kong. It is time to hold China accountable, otherwise, it will have an adverse global impact as evidenced by the Wuhan originated Covid-19 pandemic.” President Dr Sangay had further urged the international community “to unite and ensure that China fulfils its obligations under international laws including human rights obligations before it is too late.”