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Global rights NGO congress urges China to end Tibet tragedy

(TibetanReview.net, Jun03, 2013) – Human rights organizations from across the world have called on China to address the current emergency situation in Tibet in their three-yearly congress held in the Turkish capital Istabul from May 22 to 27. The congress – the 38th Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights (FID) – brought together representatives of 178 non-governmental human rights organizations from 117 countries.

The Tibet call is contained in a resolution the congress adopted after discussing the latest developments in the Chinese ruled Tibetan Plateau region, in particular the cases of self-immolations and the absence of talks between Tibetan and Chinese sides since Jan 2010.

In their resolution, the participants in the congress denounced the intensification of campaigns against the Dalai Lama and the Chinese military build-up in Tibet, and the strengthening of policies and measures that are cited as the root causes of the self-immolations by protesting Tibetans.

The resolution calls on China’s new leadership to resume dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan side, to re-evaluate the “stability maintenance” approach as applied in Tibet and to end the military buildup and limit the dominance of the security apparatus. In addition, it encourages diplomats, including representatives of multilateral organizations, and journalists, to continue to seek access to all Tibetan areas.

In 2012, FIDH published in partnership with Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) a joint report entitled “Human rights violations and self-immolation: testimonies by Tibetans in exile”.

The theme of the Istanbul Congress was “Political Transitions from a Human Rights Perspective”. The keynote speakers included Turkish President Abdullah Gül, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, President of the International Criminal Court Song Sang Hyun, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier de Schutter, and former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion Asma Jahangir.

Founded in 1922, the FIDH is France’s oldest and largest human rights organization. The latest congress elected Iranian lawyer Dr Abdol-Karim Lahidji as its new President. He succeeded Ms Souhayr Belhassen, who headed the Federation for six years. The Congress also elected a New International Board. Vincent Metten, the ICT’s EU Policy Director, attended the Istanbul Congress.

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