October 22, 2013
Eleven countries spoke up to urge China to improve the human rights of Tibetans at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on October 22. The delegates cited the lack of religious freedom, minority rights, and access of UN officials to Tibet, and called on China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama, during oral questioning at the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China’s human rights record.
The questioning represented a broadening and deepening of concern for Tibet from China’s previous UPR in 2009, when four countries specifically mentioned Tibet at the Council session. More than 130 countries spoke up on China’s rights record, with many critical, and some, such as Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Russia, supportive. Each country was given only about 50 seconds to make a statement.
At the end of the session, China dismissed the concerns of countries that highlighted concerns about its human rights record (see below). Its full reply to oral and written questions will be reported on October 25.