Geneva: The 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council began discussion on human rights situation that require the council’s attention, yesterday. Several governments including the United States of America, the European Union, Canada, France and Germany once again raised China’s disregard of international standard of human rights and wide-spread cases of rights violation in China including Tibet and Xinjang.
The European Union delegation expressed its profound concern over the arrest, detention and conviction of human rights defenders and lawyers and the reported harassment of their families. The EU called for the immediate release of detained human rights defenders including Tashi Wangchuk, a 31-year old Tibetan language right advocate who had been arbitrarily detained by the Chinese authorities after appearing in a New York Times documentary and article on Tibetan language. The EU also urged China to implement its law on the Management of Foreign NGO Activities in ways that do not hamper the development of independent civil society. The EU also called upon China to respect “cultural diversity and freedom of religion, not least in Tibet and Xinjiang”.
The delegation from Germany said they remain deeply concerned over the human rights situation in China including Tibet and Xinjiang. Human rights abuses in China, particularly in “Western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang” remain “widespread”. Germany closely follow a growing number of cases, including Tashi Wangchuk. Germany urged China to respect fundamental rights and rule of law and immediately release all detained human rights defenders.
Delegate of the United States of America reiterated its concern about reports of China’s arbitrary detention and torture of lawyers and activists as well as its general ongoing efforts to silence criticism, unduly constrain civil society and religious practices, and deny rights to Tibetans and Uighurs.
Delegate of Canadian government expressed their concerns on detention and sentencing of human rights defenders in China.
Dawa Tsultrim, UN Advocacy officer, representing the Society for Threatened People delivered a two-minute oral statement on religious repression in Tibet. He called upon council’s urgent attention on the on-going wide-scale demolitions and destruction of Larung gar and Yachen gar.
At the on-going 34th session of UN Human Rights Council, in the presentation of the Council’s annual report on 8 March, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein expressed concern over ‘cultural and religious restrictions’ in Tibet. And demonstrated commitment to engage with China for an ‘effective dialogue on importance human rights issues’.