“Tibetan demonstrations are illegal”: China at the UN Human Rights Council


June 6, 2013 3:49 pm

Press Release

6 June 2013

The Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs issued a joint communication on arbitrary detentions and rights to freedom of peaceful assembly at the 23th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council meeting. On 3rd June 2013, the Chinese representative responded in a statement that the peaceful demonstrations by young students in Chabcha (Ch: Gonghe) in Tsolho in north-eastern Tibet on 26 November 2012 were illegal and required prior permission according to Chinese law. In making this statement, the Chinese representative revealed that any form of demonstration perceived as harmful to the interests of the state, society or community by the Chinese authority will not be permitted.

On 26 November 2012, about 1,000 students protested in Chabcha area in Tibet against the release of an official Chinese booklet degrading the Tibetan language, which is one of many instances when the Chinese government has brazenly defied its own constitution. Article IV of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China clearly stipulates that people of all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve or reform their own ways and customs. It is therefore incomprehensible that when Tibetan students protest to protect their constitutional rights, their actions are labelled ‘illegal’ while, at the same time, China illegally reconfigures its own constitutional authority in order to suit a particular definition of national security. It is widely known that China’s inability to redress grievances expressed by Chinese students in 1989 led to an outpouring of resentment that was brutally suppressed on June 4th 1989 in Tiananmen Square. This same suppression has been perpetrated and repeated inside Tibet since its occupation.

The CTA thanks the European Union, United States, Czech Republic and other countries for their valuable statements on June 5th, reiterating the importance of addressing the deteriorating human rights situation inside Tibet and China at the ongoing 23th session the Human Right Council meeting.

Media contact:

Mr Tsering Wangchuk, Press Officer, +91 8679208465