Holland Criticises China's Repression in Tibet and Eastern Turkestan
29 March, 2002
Geneva, 27 March - Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, the Dutch Foreign Minister became the latest dignitary to address the 58th UN Commission on Human Rights who criticised China for the intensification of repression in Tibet and Eastern Turkestan.
Addressing the Commission this afternoon, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen said: "...the human rights situation in China continues to be a source of great concern to the Netherlands government. The application of the death penalty has reached unprecedented level since the start of the so-called strike hard campaign.
Followers of Christian churches and other religious communities, as well as the Falun Gong, continue to be persecuted. The fight against terrorism is used as a pretext to intensify repression of minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet."
Towards the end of last evening's session, the Commission heard a representative of China, speaking in right of reply to say that Swiss Foreign Minister had tried to instigate the independence of Tibet and went against the principles of neutrality of the Swiss government.
In response to this statement from China, a Swiss delegate said that the policy of his country on Tibet did not change. Switzerland believed in dialogue and it considered that the problem in the region could be settled peacefully through dialogue. As the Swiss Minister affirmed this morning, it was essential to guarantee the freedom of religion for Tibetans, he added
Tibet Bureau, Geneva