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Swiss parliament asks gov’t for report on situation of Tibetans in the country, on rights dialogue with China

(TibetanReview.net, Mar17’21) – The Swiss parliament has on Mar 15 passed a resolution, asking the federal government to submit a detailed report on the situation of Tibetans in Switzerland, especially focusing on restrictions on freedom of expression and surveillance by the Chinese government.

The postulate was passed with a majority vote of 134 in favour, 48 against and 5 abstentions in the National Council of Switzerland (Upper Chamber of Swiss Parliament).

While presenting the majority opinion of the Commission on the situation of Tibetans in Switzerland, Hon’ble member Roland Fischer has referred to the assertive and demanding behavior of China, especially towards the Tibetan exile community in Switzerland and other countries in Europe.  

“There are also indications from academia that China is monitoring the Tibetan and Uyghur diaspora in Switzerland, in addition to many measures of cultural and political influence in Switzerland,” he has said.

Hon’ble National Council Member Roland Fischer Presenting majority opinion of the Commission in German Language. (Photo courtesy: CTA)

Co- o-president Nicolas Walder of the Swiss Parliamentary Group for Tibet has spoken about the Tibetan people’s fears for their security as surveillance by the Chinese authorities had increased and would be accompanied by more and more intimidation and threats.

Karin Keller-Sutter, Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police, has endorsed the postulate and noted that the Federal Council additionally would submit a detailed report on issues related to Tibetan asylum seekers including their travel documents and hardship applications.

Earlier, on Mar 9, the National Council passed a postulate calling on the Federal Council (the Swiss Government) to report on the bilateral human rights dialogue with China including the status, implementation and future plans of the Federal Council on the dialogue process. 

Concerning it, Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, has endorsed the postulate on behalf of the Federal Council and acknowledged that the overall human rights situation in China had deteriorated in recent years. 

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