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27 October 2011

Chinese authorities urged to respect religious rights 

MEPs condemn the continued Chinese government crackdown on Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the Aba/Ngaba county prefecture in Sichuan province, and in other parts of the Tibetan plateau, including brutal security raids, arbitrary detention of monks, and a permanent police presence inside the monasteries. They call on the authorities to lift these restrictions and to restore the lines of communication to the monks of Kirti Monastery. 

Parliament is deeply concerned by reports, since last April, of eight Tibetan Buddhist monks and one nun who set fire to themselves near the Ngaba Kirti Monastery in China’s Sichuan province. 

MEPs call on the Chinese authorities to respect the rights of Tibetans in all Chinese provinces and to take proactive steps to resolve the underlying grievances of the Tibetan population. The authorities should cease promoting policies that threaten the Tibetan language, culture, religion, heritage and environment, in contravention of the Chinese constitution and the Chinese law granting autonomy to ethnic minorities, says the resolution. 

Parliament calls on EU foreign policy High Representative Catherine Ashton to raise human rights issues at the next EU-China Summit, and urges the presidents of the European Commission and  European Council to press China to protect Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity in their official speeches at the summit, should this issue not be on the agenda.