UN NGOs call for the protection and promotion of basic human rights in Tibet
GENEVA: ECOSOC NGOs called upon the UN Human Rights Council for the protection and promotion of basic human rights as guaranteed in international laws on 23 September during the Council's 18th Session in Geneva. The NGOs said UN must condemn perpetrators in the strongest terms wherever and whoever involved be it member state.
Mr Tenzin Samphel KAYTA speaking on behalf of four NGOs said when a young Kirti Monastery monk Ven. Phuntsok immolated himself the monastery was under military lockdown. Over 600 Chinese cadres are conducting “Patriotic Education” daily at Kirti monastery disrupting the routine religious practices of the monks. China must stop “patriotic re-education”. China must allow 300 Kirti monks disappeared on 22 April this year to join their monastery.
He expressed deep concern over the court verdict passed last month by the Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Prefecture Court on three Tibetan monks (Tenzin, Tsundue and Tsering Tamding) to 10, 11 and 13 years respectively for helping the self-immolated monk Ven. Phuntsok and accused of “intentional homicide”. He said that the court lacked transparency, devoid of personal legal representation and confessions made through torture were used as evidence for prosecution.
He also highlighted the recent self-immolation of Ven. Tsewang Phuntsok from Nyitso Monastery in Kardze County in order to bring international community’s attention to the plight of Tibetan people. Although the Chinese law states that Chinese citizens have the right to maintain their own political views, a right which is protected by the law. In Tibet, however, Tibetans do not enjoy the very basic human rights - freedom of expression, opinion, religious freedom, freedom of assembly and association. Tibetans have been arrested for saying “Long Live the Dalai Lama” and “Freedom in Tibet”, “Religious Freedom”. They are detained without any formal charges and tortured.
Mr KAYTA took the floor during discussion on agenda Item 4 – General Debate, and made joint statement representing four ECOSOC NGOs i.e., Society for threatened peoples, Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme and International Educational Development.
While referring to ongoing security forces clampdown on peaceful protestors in the Middle East, Mr KAYTA said the council should not oversight similar abuses taking place in China.
The Chinese authorities continue to ban foreign journalist and visitors to Ngaba and Kardze areas where two self-immolation cases happened this year.
Exile Tibetan sources have confirmed the Chinese officials’ arrest of over 58, detained more than 27 and 19 Tibetan protestors from Ngaba, Kardze, Tawu and Nangchen Counties were sentenced in between three and thirteen years since March this year.
According to Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, as of 4 August 2011 it has documented 1391 Tibetan political prisoners still in prisons in addition to 476 released and 113 deaths for expressing their political views and their devotion to the Dalai Lama.
Mr KAYTA concluded his statement by urging the Council to facilitate in calling upon the People’s Republic of China to arrange early visit of Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom or Belief who has invitation since 2004.
In the run up to the UN meeting, the Tibet Bureau briefed diplomats from EU, Canada and US based in Geneva on human rights situation inside Tibet and appealed for their support before commencement of the ongoing HRC session.
With regard to Tibet, Ambassador Eileen Donahoe of United States of America said that China maintains policies that threaten the Tibetan languages, religions, and cultures along with Uyghur. She expressed concern over China’s arrests and detains lawyers, activists, and writers for exercising freedom of expression and for defending their internationally recognized rights, and uses extralegal measures to silence even peaceful dissent.
Delegate of Czech Republic in its national statement expressed concern on China for abusing rights of Tibetans and Uyghurs and also ongoing restrictions on right of expression.
Two ECOSOC NGOs had submitted two written statements covering situation in Ngaba and Kardze areas including arrest, arbitrary disappearance, detention, torture, sentence etc. to the UN Human Rights Council for their attention and consideration.
In the UN Special Procedure mandate holders’ report to this council dated 8 September 2011, it highlighted UN's communication to China on 25 March 2011 expressing concern on alleged isolation and inadequate medical care for Jigme Gyatso who is serving 15 years of sentence in prison.
In another communication, the SP mandate holders had sent communication to China on 21 April 2011 concerning alleged harassment of monastic community following self-immolation of Ven. Phuntsok Jarutsang from Kirti Monastery. It also expressed concern on the “Order No. 8” entitled “Management measure for Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and temples” reportedly issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) and will enter into force on 1 November 2010.
This Council will conclude its session on 30 September and will tentatively schedule its 19
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