European Parliament expresses serious concern on rights situation in Tibet, Xinjiang

The European Parliament in session.
The European Parliament in session.

(, Dec16, 2016) – The European Parliament has on Dec 15 adopted a resolution, expressing serious concern on the human rights situation especially in Tibet and East Turkestan (Chinese: Xinjiang), with the ongoing destruction at the Larung Gar Buddhist institute, probably the world largest Buddhist learning centre located in Serta (Chinese: Seda) County of Sichuan Province, being one of the main focus.

Noting that “the promotion of and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should remain at the centre the long-standing partnership between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its external action and China’s expressed interest in adhering to these same values in its own development and international cooperation,” the resolution condemns the current situation in Tibet and Xinjiang and asks China to take a series of measures to improve the situation.

The resolution begins by urging China to “stop the demolition of Larung Gar and the eviction of its residents, and in this way to respect the freedom of religion in accordance with its international commitments in the field of human rights”.

It also deplores the very recent “sentencing of ten Tibetans by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham to different terms ranging from 5 to 14 years in prison for taking part in an 80th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Ngaba County”.

The resolution expresses deep concern at “the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet which has led to an increase in the number of self-immolation cases;” criticises the increase in military displays on the Tibetan plateau that will only lead to escalating the tension in the region;” and “condemns the increase in the use of surveillance systems in Tibetan private households.”

The resolution questions “China’s stated commitment to the rule of law and respect for international obligations” given “the increasingly repressive regime faced by different minorities, in particular Tibetans and Uighurs, as additional constraints are put on the constitutional guarantees of their right to freedom of cultural expression and religious belief, and to the freedom of speech and expression, peaceful assembly and association.”

It criticizes China’s “law on counter-terrorism that could lead to the penalisation of peaceful expression of Tibetan culture and religion”.

And it calls on China “to resume the dialogue with Tibetan representatives, which was ended by China in 2010, in order to find an inclusive political solution to the crisis in Tibet;” “for respect for the freedoms of expression, association and religion of the Tibetan people as enshrined in the Constitution;” and expresses belief that “respect for minority rights is a key element of democracy and the rule of law that is indispensable for political stability.”

The resolution reiterates the parliament’s call on the EU to raise 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, in line with the EU’s commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country, including the yearly Human Rights Dialogue.”


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