Germany: Human Rights Committee condemns repression in Tibet, calls for support of Tibetans

Berlin, March 25, 2019. In a rare Joint Statement made public today, the Human Rights Committee of the German parliament called on the “Chinese Government to immediately stop the repression of the Tibetan people and resume dialogue with the legitimate representatives of the Tibetans.” The statement, passed on the anniversary of the “brutal suppression of the Tibetan people’s uprising” in March 1959, expressed concern that “culture, language, identity and religion of the Tibetans are threatened in their existence.” It declared the “peaceful resistance of the Tibetan people to the deprivation of rights through the Chinese authorities deserves more support,” adding the “despair of the people, over 150 self-immolations in recent years and the outcry of the monks must shake up the international community.” The committee expressed “its deep respect for the Tibetan culture and its sympathy for and solidarity with the peaceful, oppressed Tibetan people.”

The statement also acknowledges that “the secular and spiritual leadership of the Tibetans has repeatedly chosen the path of peace, during many decades of extensive oppression.” It views, “the third way of the Dalai Lama, with a broad autonomy of Tibet within China, as an opportunity to avoid possible conflicts for the future.” The statement was supported by the governing CDU/CSU and SPD, as well as by the liberal FDP and the Greens.

Kai Müller, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet in Germany, welcomed the statement by the Human Rights Committee: “It is extremely important that the Human Rights Committee raised the situation in Tibet and continues to address systematic human rights violations. Tibet is a totalitarian police state in which dissent is relentlessly persecuted and the population massively indoctrinated. Under these harsh conditions, the Tibetans’ non-violent protest and their search for a peaceful solution deserve all the more support. The Joint Statement of the Human Rights Committee is therefore a powerful and important sign of this support.”

ICT translation of the Joint Declaration of the Human Rights Committee of the German Bundestag, from 20 March 2019, “Gemeinsame Erklärung des Ausschusses für Menschenrechte und humanitäre Hilfe zum 60. Jahrestag des Aufstandes in Tibet,” Ausschussdrucksache 19(17)44

Joint Statement by the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid on the 60th anniversary of the uprising in Tibet

For the 60th time in March 2019, the brutal suppression of the Tibetan people’s uprising is commemorated. On March 10, 1959, tens of thousands of Tibetans rallied for their people’s freedom, after the Chinese army had invaded Tibet eight years earlier.

A negotiated settlement sought by the Tibetan leadership failed. Well over 80,000 Tibetans lost their lives in the following months. The Dalai Lama had to leave his Tibetan homeland on 14 March 1959 and flee to India via the Himalayas. The Indian government has generously welcomed exiled Tibetans for six decades now.

Today, the culture, language, identity and religion of the Tibetans are threatened in their existence. The peaceful resistance of the Tibetan people to the deprivation of rights by Chinese authorities deserves more support.

The despair of the people, over 150 self-immolations in recent years and the outcry of the monks must shake up the international community.

The secular and spiritual leadership of the Tibetans has repeatedly chosen the path of peace, during many decades of extensive oppression. We see the third way of the Dalai Lama, with broad autonomy of Tibet within China, as an opportunity to avoid possible conflicts in the future.

The Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of the German Bundestag supports this non-violent path for the Tibetan people to express their will to self-determination in this form and calls on the Chinese government to respect the legitimate rights of Tibetans, especially their culture and religion. Human rights violations against religious minorities in the People’s Republic of China and the ever-increasing interference with religious life as well as personal freedom must be stopped immediately. The Committee calls on the Chinese Government to immediately stop the repression of the Tibetan people and resume dialogue with the legitimate representatives of the Tibetans.

With this Declaration, the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of the German Bundestag expresses its deep respect for the Tibetan culture and its sympathy for and solidarity with the peaceful, oppressed Tibetan people.

Supported by CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP and Greens. Abstention by AfD, opposed by Leftist Party.

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