September 8, 2006
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

European Parliament releases report on human rights in Tibet

Friday, 8 September 2006, 12:00 PM


The European Parliament

Dharamshala: The European Parliament (EP) released a report condemning the human rights situation in China, including Tibet. The report was approved by 351 votes to 48 and comes on the eve of a high-level EU-China summit, which will be held tomorrow in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

The report specifically “deplores the contradiction between the constitutional freedom of belief (enshrined in Article 36 of the Constitution) and the ongoing interference of the State in the affairs of religious communities.”

The members of the EP expressed their concern about “the recent reports of continuing serious human rights abuses in Tibetan areas of China and are deeply concerned that “the practice of torture remains widespread in China.”

The EP called on China to abolish the death penalty, and to “refrain from intimidating, cracking down on or imprisoning those who advocate freedom of expression.”

The report also called upon the Chinese government to “intensify its positive engagement in substantive negotiations regarding the demands of the Dalai Lama for autonomy for Tibet.”

The socialist group in EP abstained from voting on the report saying that that the report fails to mention the EU’s “one China – two systems” policy, even though the group agreed with the human rights parts of the report.

Following is the full text of the EP report

China’s policy towards Taiwan and Tibet, as well as human rights questions about the death penalty, forced labour camps, and the freedom of religion, the press and the internet constitute the bulk of a report adopted by the European Parliament. The own-initiative report by Bastiaan Belder (IND/DEM, NL) was approved by (351-48-160) and comes on the eve of a high-level EU-China summit, which will be held on 9 September in Helsinki.

The Parliament’s report concentrates on the human rights situation in China. Specifically, it “deplores the contradiction between the constitutional freedom of belief (enshrined in Article 36 of the Constitution) and the ongoing interference of the State in the affairs of religious communities.” The EP is deeply concerned “that the practice of torture remains widespread in China,” and condemns the Laogai labour camps across the country. On the political front, the EP calls on China to abolish the death penalty, and to “refrain from intimidating, cracking down on or imprisoning those who advocate freedom of expression.” In addition, MEPs express their worry about “recent reports of continuing serious human rights abuses in Tibetan areas of China.”

On the foreign relations front, the Parliament’s report strongly recommends “that the EU arms embargo against China remain intact until greater progress is made on human rights issues”. It also criticises China’s provocative behaviour towards Taiwan and Japan, and asks the Chinese government for a “decisive stance” on the Iranian nuclear crisis. MEPs adopted an amendment which makes specific mention of Taiwan’s “territorial sovereignty and integrity.”

The House also notes some concerns about economic relations. It urges the Chinese authorities to improve the protection of Intellectual Property Rights, and calls on the Commission to “exert political and economic pressure aimed at bringing flexibility to bear on the exchange rate of the Chinese currency, which is being pegged at an artificially low rate.”

The PES group decided to abstain from the report. Hannes Swoboda (PES, AT) explained that although his group agreed with the human rights parts of the report, the failure to include mention of the EU’s “one China – two systems” policy in the report.

(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.)

 

 

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