June 10, 2010
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

Tibet’s human rights issues raised at the 14th session of UN Human Rights Council[Thursday, 10 June 2010]

Geneva, 9 June – The UN Human Rights Council began its 14th regular session in Geneva from 31 May and will continue until 18 June. Several
UN Special Procedure mandate holders presented their annual report to
this Council for discussion. Among these reports, the Special
Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers[1], the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion[2]; and the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions[3] reported
cases of Tibetans who were arrested for exercising their freedom of
speech, detained, given death sentences by the Chinese courts as well
as the death of Mr. Phuntsok Rabgay, a 27-year-old monk, in Drango
County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.The
Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers with the
Special Rapporteur on Summary Execution in their joint communication to
China raised the cases of five Tibetans sentenced to death by the
Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in Lhasa on 8 April 2009. While
thanking the Chinese government for its response to the allegations,
the Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers sought
further clarification on when, and how often, the lawyers who defended
them had the opportunity to meet with their clients ahead of the trials
on 8 April 2009. The Special Rapporteur also sought further information
from the government on the results of the investigations that were
undertaken to determine if lawyers were prevented from defending the
accused persons and information on the alleged intimidation of lawyers
who volunteered to defend Tibetans criminally charged in relation to
the incidents and reiterated that in all cases, and notably in capital
punishment cases, there is an obligation to provide criminal defendants
with a fair and public hearing before an independent and impartial
tribunal.  Mr. Tenzin Samphel KAYTA, on behalf of Society for
Threatened Peoples drew attention of the Council on the two Tibetans
who had been sentenced recently to death with two years reprieve. He
also informed the Council that Tibetan source has documented 394
Tibetans who were sentenced to varying prison terms since April 2008 by
the Chinese court. He further questioned the independence of China’s
judiciary and judges saying the whole judiciary system’s only objective
is to protect the State’s interests or the Communist Party. He
also referred to the case of Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche who was sentenced
by the Chinese court without sufficient evidence, factual clarity or a
fair trial. According to a public statement issued by the two Chinese
lawyers of Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche: To charge that Living Buddha
Buronglang has committed the crime of illegally possessing weapons and
explosives and of occupying state property lacks factual clarity and
sufficient evidence. Also, serious violations of the law occurred
during the procedures of this case. International NGOs
including Human Rights Watch and Helsinki foundation for Human Rights
raised Tibet issues in their statements. Countries who
expressed concern over human rights situation in China are USA and
European Union. US Delegate said, ethnic and religious minorities in
Tibet and Xinjiang are subject to particularly onerous restrictions,
including restraint on religious practice.[4]  Spanish
delegate on behalf of European Union expressed concern about human
rights situation in China and strongly condemned the increasing
violence directed against persons belonging to religious and other
minorities in various part of the world.  In its own capacity, German delegate said in China torture was still a used practice especially in detention. Czech
delegate also expressed concern about the ongoing restrictions on the
freedom of expression in China, and it was alarming that 21 years after
violent suppression of a movement of citizens peacefully demonstrating
for a pluralistic system, Chinese citizens continued to be persecuted. Before
and during the course of the session, Mr. Tenzin KAYTA met some of the
UN Special Rapporteurs, EU and US diplomats as well as many
representatives of international NGOs seeking their support for Tibet. –Report filed by Tenzin Samphel, Office of Tibet, Geneva

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