September 16, 2009
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

UN Human Rights Chief Urges China to Respect Human Rights in Tibet Wednesday, 16 September 2009, 12:16 p.m.

 Navi Pillay addresses the 12th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva/© UN photo/Gilles Sereni

Expressing concern over the recent events in Tibet and East Turkestan
(Chinese: Xinjiang), Ms Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights, on Tuesday called on the Chinese
government to examine the underlying causes of the incidents,
highlighting “discrimination and the failure to protect minority rights
by the Chinese authorities”.“I followed with concern the recent
disturbances in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and those previously in
the Tibetan Autonomous Region and surrounding areas,” Ms Pillay said in
a key-note address to the members of the Human Rights Council at the
12th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.“While
condemning such violence and urging the Chinese authorities to respect
human rights in upholding the law, I also encourage them to reflect on
the underlying causes of such incidents, which include discrimination
and the failure to protect minority rights,” Pillay added.The UN human rights chief’s address was focused on several specific overarching human rights concerns. (read full statement here)Pillay
called on the governments to release those detained for peaceful
protest, to investigate reports of their ill-treatment, and to ensure
respect for human rights.“I remind all Member States of their
obligation to protect human rights defenders, as well as the press,
from any form of violence, intimidation or discrimination, and to hold
accountable those who are responsible for any such acts of violence,
intimidation or discrimination. Peaceful political opposition must not
be repressed.”“Clearly, no human rights defender is safe when
democratic institutions of governance are inadequate and unaccountable,
when the rule of law remains an aspiration rather than a reality, and
when corruption, co-option, or coercion hold sway.” “Democratic
deficits, in particular, remain a significant obstacle to the
protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law.”“The
Human Rights Council must achieve a sense of shared purpose and be a
paragon of international cooperation on behalf of human rights. To
ensure its credibility, this body should be prepared to confront
violations wherever and whenever they take place. A failure to rise to
this challenge would constitute a betrayal of the victims of human
rights violations all over the world who place faith in the United
Nations and, in particular, the Human Rights Council. I know that you
can meet the international community’s expectations, and I welcome the
opportunity to assist you in such endeavour.”Pillay concluded
by reiterating her commitment to the “impartiality” and “independence”
of her Office. “My goal, and I trust our common goal, is to focus on
and protect all human rights for all.”The 12th session of the
Human Rights Council takes place from 14 September to 2 October at the
Palais des Nations in Geneva. More information is available on the
webpage of the session, which is also webcast live.

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