DHARAMSHALA, June 29: Tibetans form across Europe are in Geneva this week pushing for a “strong” resolution on China’s human rights violations in Tibet at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Council session.
A 55,000-strong petition was delivered to the UNHRC urging greater action to address the human rights crisis in Tibet, where since 2009, 41 Tibetans have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
“Previous statements of concern by member-states have been welcomed but the deteriorating human rights situation inside Tibet demands the strongest diplomatic action possible by the UN Human Rights Council,” said Migmar Dhakyel of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe. “The UN must act to pass a resolution now holding the Chinese government accountable for its grave human rights violations in Tibet that amount to crimes against humanity and cultural genocide.”
A Tibet resolution has not been tabled at the UNHRC for over half a decade.
Earlier this week, the Tibetan delegation unfurled a huge banner displaying photos of thousands of concerned people calling for greater multi-lateral action on Tibet at the Place des Nations in front of the UN Building in Geneva.
“The message from Tibetans inside Tibet is clear; the message from tens of thousands of concerned global citizens is clear: the United Nations must pass an urgent resolution on the Tibet crisis now!” Tsetan Zouchbauer of the SOSTibet, Austria said. “China is responsible for writing the darkest chapter in Tibet’s history. Now the UN must take bold multi-lateral action to hold China accountable for its repressive rule in Tibet - which violates every major international human rights protocol.”
Several countries, including the United States of America, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the European Union spoke about China’s human rights abuses, particularly in Tibet, at meeting this week.
Speaking on behalf of EU, the Danish delegate expressed alarm at the deterioration of the situation in Tibet and Tibetan-populated areas.
“The EU calls upon the Chinese authorities to ensure that the human rights of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, notably Tibet and Xinjiang are fully respected, including their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief, as well as their right to enjoy their own culture and use of their own language.”
Belgium delegate called upon Chinese authorities to put an end to disappearance and arbitrary arrest. To clarify fate of all persons who are disappeared. Belgium is very concern at the situation of Tibetan areas where demonstrations have been repressed and immolation of monks reflects the feeling of Tibetan people that they are not fully enjoying cultural and religious rights.
Czech delegate reiterated its call for the Chinese authorities to allow unfettered access to the Tibetan areas for independent monitoring including diplomat and journalist.
This meeting will continue till July 6.