(TibetanReview.net, Sep28’21) – Apart from the 26-member European Union collectively, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States called on China to respect human rights in Tibet and China during the ongoing 48th UN Human Rights Council session, said the Central Tibetan Administration’s Tibet Bureau, Geneva, Sep 28. China, which calls any criticism of its human rights record an interference in its internal affairs, claimed the support of nearly 100 countries for its stance.
Speaking under the theme of human rights situation which requires the UN Human Rights Council’s attention, the United States was stated to have strongly condemned human rights abuses including economic exploitation, systemic racism and destruction of cultural heritage by China. The US continued to remain concerned over China’s severe restrictions on religious, linguistic and cultural traditions in Tibet, the report said.
Speaking on behalf of the European Union, France was stated to have called on China to comply with its obligations under national and international law to respect and protect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, especially in Tibet, Xinjiang and in Inner Mongolia.
Expressing “deep concern” over reports of human rights violations in Tibet, Denmark was stated to have called on China to grant meaningful access to Tibet and China for the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other independent observers.
Germany was stated to have expressed the same “grave concern” over the systematic human rights violations by China, including in Tibet.
The Netherlands has noted serious concerns over violations of human rights by China, including restrictions on press freedom and freedom of religion or belief in Tibet.
Switzerland has condemned China’s continued arbitrary detention of minorities and called on China to respect the rights of Tibetan people.
And Sweden has expressed concerns over human rights violations by China targeting persons belonging to minorities, human rights defenders and media workers, including in Tibet.
Those speaking for China included its all-weather, superlative friend Pakistan, supposedly on behalf of 65 countries which remain to be named in full as during the previous council session.
Its so-called joint statement was stated to have contended that issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet were China’s internal affairs that brooked no interference by any external forces. It reiterated “support for China’s implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” said China’s official globaltimes.cn as well as Xinhua news agency Sep 25.
The reports claimed that altogether nearly 100 countries had expressed their understanding and support for China’s “legitimate” position.
Earlier, during the 47th session in June, Belarus had read a joint statement, supposedly on behalf of 64 countries, in defense of China’s right to manage its own internal affairs in matters such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. However, a spokesman for the council’s secretariat was cited as saying Belarus had not provided a list of those 64 countries.
The remark rendered dubious China’s claim at that time that altogether over 90 countries had, through various means, voiced their support for it on Xinjiang, Hong Kong or Tibet related issues.