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Monday, March 1, 2021

Several countries raise Tibet issue at 43rd UN Human Rights Council, Geneva

UN Human Rights Council, Geneva. (Photo courtesy: UPR)

(TibetanReview.net, Mar12’20) – Tibetans in Switzerland and Liechtenstein held a peace march to the office of Human Rights Council in Geneva on Mar 11 as its 43rd session was underway and in which the Tibet issue was referred to by several member countries.

Addressing the council on Mar 10, which marked the 61st anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising against Chinese rule, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the European Union (EU) called on China to respect human rights in Tibet.

Germany urged China to immediately end “the unlawful mass-detentions, torture and massive infringements of civic, political and religious rights” in Xinjiang and Tibet.

The Czech Republic expressed disappointment that China’s claim of “economic development is yet to be matched with the progress on human rights and the rule of law”. It called for a “halt to systematic restrictions on human rights, be it in Xinjiang or Tibet”.

The EU called on China to “uphold its national and international obligations, and to respect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet”. It also urged China to release all human rights defenders including (Tibetan language rights activist) Tashi Wangchuk and, “allow meaningful access for the UN High Commissioner”.

The Netherlands expressed concern over freedom of Religion and Belief in (the People’s Republic of) China, particularly Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims, Christians. It also called on China for meaningful access to independent observers, including the UN High Commissioner to assess the ground situation.

Australia, Finland, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom also asked China to respect the rights of minorities and allow meaningful access to the UN High Commissioner.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to visit the PRC, especially Xinjiang. It is not clear whether she intends to visit Tibet as well.

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