(TibetanReview.net, Mar13’16) – On the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day of Mar 10, the United States led an unprecedented scathing criticism of China on its abysmal human rights record in China and Tibet at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Delivering a joint statement in a first at the council, Keith M Harper, the US ambassador to the UN rights body, noted China’s “deteriorating human rights record,” listing forced confessions and mass detentions among major concerns.
“In many cases, these individuals have not been granted access to legal counsel or allowed visits by family members,” said Mr Harper, delivering a joint statement by the United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and seven other European states. “These actions are in contravention of China’s own laws and international commitments.”
Harper’s statement came after the UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein gave his main annual speech to the council. He spoke of having raised concerns over China’s arrests of lawyers and other activists in recent weeks, adding, “In the past, I have also raised concerns about human rights in the Autonomous Regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, and these concerns remain.”
“These actions are in contravention of China’s own laws and international commitments.”
China spewed bitter anger at the criticisms, all the more because on the same day US House Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. James McGovern published a joint statement in the USA Today newspaper, calling on Beijing to enter into dialogue with Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama while highlighting “mounting Chinese human rights violations” in Tibet. Besides, the Dalai Lama was due to take part in a Nobel laureates meeting on the sidelines of Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva later on Mar 11 and China was getting nowhere trying to pressure diplomats and UN officials into boycotting the event.
Chinese diplomat Fu Cong claimed that Zeid was “making subjective comments not backed up by real facts,” and attacked the United States on what he said were it its own rights record.