Geneva: Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, raised the issue of Tibet and the cases of Late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk in the opening statement at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council that convened yesterday.
In his written statement, the UN High Commissioner painted a grim picture of the human rights situation in the world and explained, “the world has grown darker and dangerous.” As a result, he called on governments across the world to uphold and promote human rights ever more than before.
The high commissioner also highlighted the cases of deaths in detention, including prominent Tibetan religious leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche (2015), Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (2017) and activist Cao Shunli (2014). He also aired concerns for those who “are in various forms of deprivation of liberty on questionable grounds, without any independent oversight mechanism”, mentioning Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk along with other human rights defenders.
The UN High Commissioner for human rights further questioned “Governments who engage in intimidation and bullying, and commit reprisals against human rights defenders and NGOs which work with the UN human rights mechanism” on oppression and injustice exercise by States in their countries, calling it a “theft of their peoples’ inalienable rights.”
Earlier this month, Human Right Watch (HRW) released a report titled “The Cost of International Advocacy” that exposed China’s efforts to undermine the UN human rights protection mechanisms. The report further noted China’s interference with the UN’s efforts in curbing human rights violations through “aggressively silencing criticism and eroding access for activists who work on China.”
Earlier last month, the US State Department released annual report on International Religious Freedom, which highlighted Chinese interference in religious practices in monasteries and nunneries in Tibet.
The apprehensive voice raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as HRW’s report further reiterates the Central Tibetan Administration’s call for an independent investigation into the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet.
- Report filed by UN and Human Rights Desk, DIIR –