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International Campaign for Tibet statement on US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

June 21, 2018

As an organization dedicated to working for human rights and democratic freedom of the Tibetan people, the International Campaign for Tibet regrets the US decision to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council. The United States has been among those countries that have consistently raised the issue of human rights of the Tibetan people in the UN Human Rights Council.

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley, while explaining the US decision on June 19, 2018, said that it was the US position that reforms were needed to make the Human Rights Council a serious advocate for human rights. She said that the Human Rights Council has become a protector of human rights abusers, and listed China among the countries that “attempted to undermine our reform efforts this past year.”

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International NGOs urge Governments and UN to Act on China’s Human Rights Abuses, including in Tibet

February 26, 2018

A group of international NGOs, including the International Campaign for Tibet, has sent a private letter to a select UN member states about raising China’s human rights abuses at the UN Human Rights Council. The letter’s authors say, “The Human Rights Council should take further steps to show China that undermining key legal protections for freedoms of expression and association and the rights to a fair trial, not to mention disappearing or arbitrarily detaining dissenting voices, is unacceptable behaviour – especially for a would-be “global leader” “.

The letter highlighted five cases of human rights defenders, including that of Tibetan education advocate Tashi Wangchuk, which “show that the ferocious crackdown on human rights defenders, including lawyers, that has intensified since President Xi Jinping assumed power continues unabated’.

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Mélanie Blondelle

UN Human Rights Council urged to call on China to grant independent and impartial access to Tibet

June 15, 2017

In a statement delivered at the 35th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, ICT’s Mélanie Blondelle, speaking on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), expressed distress at the continuing wave of self-immolations in Tibet. She urged “the Council to call on China to grant independent and impartial monitors unfettered access to Tibet, as agreed to by China following its 2013 Universal Periodic Review”.

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Dalai Lama

Unprecedented diplomatic action in Geneva on China’s human rights record

March 16, 2016

The international community has sent a strong message to China with unprecedented diplomatic action in recent weeks including the first collective statement at the U.N. Human Rights Council, a rare joint statement drawing attention to human rights abuses and a high-profile appearance by the Dalai Lama at an event with human rights defenders in Geneva last week moderated by the Deputy U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Diplomats were among a packed audience listening to the Dalai Lama speaking about human rights and civil society on Friday (March 11). China’s mission in Geneva had urged them to stay away from the event billed as a side event to the ongoing U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, and co-sponsored by the United States and Canada. The discussion, built around a gathering of Nobel Peace Prize laureates, can be viewed here.

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Elena Gaita

UN Urged to Ensure Freedom of Expression and Opinion in Tibet

June 18, 2015

In a statement responding to the report by Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ms. Elena Gaita made a statement on behalf of Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 18, 2015 urging the UN to ensure freedom of expression and opinion in Tibet.

Ms. Gaita, who is the Policy and Advocacy Officer at the International Campaign for Tibet office in Brussels, said in her statement, “In the current political climate in Tibetan areas of the PRC, almost any expression of cultural or national identity can be characterized as ‘splittist’ and ‘criminal’ with harsh punishments imposed. Control and surveillance, online and offline, are part of daily life.”

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China on the defensive as 11 countries challenge its policies in Tibet

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.

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