European Parliament Passes Urgency Resolution on Tibet
(Reiterates calls on Chinese government to engage with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his representatives)
BRUSSELS: Once again the European Parliament has come out strongly on cases of human rights in China including the recent case of Tashi Wangchuk and Tibetan monk Choekyi.
For the main issue of Tibet, the European Parliament through its urgency resolution of 18 January has reiterated “its call on the Chinese Government to engage with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his representatives, and expresses its support for a peaceful resolution of the issue of Tibet through dialogue and negotiations with a view to granting Tibet genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese Constitution”.
In its 28 clauses in relation to the issues of human rights with China, 7 clauses deal with issues exclusively relating to Tibet. Through this, we would like to thank the European Union and the European Parliament on their consistent stands on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and dialogue.
We reproduce the 7 clauses below.
F. whereas Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan shopkeeper and language rights advocate, was detained on 27 January 2016 after he appeared in a New York Times video advocating the right of Tibetans to learn and study in their mother tongue; whereas in March 2016 Tashi Wangchuk was charged with ‘inciting separatism’ and faces up to 15 years in prison, although he told the newspaper explicitly that he was not calling for Tibetan independence;
G. Whereas in 2015 the Tibetan monk Choekyi, from Phurbu monastery in Sichuan’s Seda county, was jailed for celebrating the birthday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama; whereas after being charged, Choekyi was briefly held in a prison in Kangding county in Ganzi prefecture, and was finally sent to Sichuan’s Mianyang prison to serve a four-year term; whereas according to media sources, Choekyi had kidney problems, jaundice, and other health-related issues which got worse because of his detention;
6. Expresses its deep concern at the arrest and continued detention of Tashi Wangchuk, as well as his limited right to counsel, the lack of evidence against him and the irregularities in the criminal investigation; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Tashi Wangchuk;
7. Calls on the Chinese authorities to release the Tibetan monk Choekyi immediately and unconditionally; urges the Chinese Government to allow his relatives and the lawyers of his choice to visit him and, in particular, to provide him with adequate medical care;
9. Reiterates its call on the Chinese Government to engage with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his representatives, and expresses its support for a peaceful resolution of the issue of Tibet through dialogue and negotiations with a view to granting Tibet genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese Constitution”;
10. Condemns, moreover, the anti-Buddhism campaigns carried out via the ‘patriotic education’ approach, including measures to state-manage Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries; is concerned that China’s criminal law is being abused to persecute Tibetans and Buddhists, whose religious activities are equated with ‘separatism’; deplores the fact that the environment for practicing Buddhism in Tibet has worsened significantly after the Tibetan protests of March 2008, with the Chinese Government adopting a more pervasive approach to ‘patriotic education’;
15. Recalls that it is important that the EU raises the issue of human rights violations in China, in particular the case of minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, at every political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities, including the yearly human rights dialogues, in line with its commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country; regrets, however, the lack of concrete results from the yearly EU-China human rights dialogues; further recalls that in its ongoing reform process and increasing global engagement, China has opted into the international human rights framework by signing up to a wide range of international human rights treaties; calls, therefore, for dialogue to be pursued with China in order to honour these commitments;
-Filed by OOT Brussels-