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

Mélanie Blondelle

ICT’s Mélanie Blondelle, speaking on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), at the UN Human Rights Council on 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”.

The Chinese delegation used its Right of Reply by blaming the Tibetan self-immolations as being “manipulated by the Dalai clique”

Following is the full text of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights statement.


helsinki human rightsGENERAL ASSEMBLY
Human Rights Council
Thirty-fifth Regular Session
June 15, 2017

Item 4: General Debate – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Statement delivered by Mélanie Blondelle on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR)

Thank you Mr. President.

Our organization would like to express its distress at the continuing wave of self-immolations in Tibet.

Since February 2009, at least 150 Tibetans from every sector of the society, have set fire to themselves, in one of the biggest waves of self-immolations in the past 60 years. The most recent case took place on 19 May this year, when a young monk named Jamyang Losel set himself ablaze in Qinghai.[1]

But instead of addressing the causes which led to these desperate acts of political protest, the Chinese government has responded by intensifying the security buildup in Tibet, and by punishing the self-immolators’ friends, families and even entire communities. When members of self-immolator Pema Gyaltsen’s family went to the Kardze county police station to enquire about his state last March, they were severely beaten, and forced to stand up in the police station through the night.[2]

These measures are a blatant violation of international law, which prohibits collective punishment, and also appear to have a questionable legal basis under Chinese domestic law.[3]

In 2012, in light of the self-immolations, the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had urged China to allow independent observers to visit Tibet and assess the conditions on the ground.

Recalling this statement, we urge the Human Rights 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.[4]

ENDS


Footnotes:
[1] Tibetan Monk Sets Himself Ablaze in Qinghai in 150th Self-Immolation, Radio Free Asia, 19 May 2017, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/ablaze-05192017121758.html

[2] Young Farmer Stages First Tibetan Self-Immolation of 2017, Radio Free Asia, 19 March 2017, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/sichuan-immolation-03192017095940.html

[3] Acts of Significant Evil: The criminalization of Tibetan self-immolations, International Campaign for Tibet, 31 July 2014, http://www.savetibet.org/acts-of-significant-evil-2/

[4] UN Doc. A/HRC/25/5 and A/HRC/25/5/Add.1.

Download PDF

 

Stay informed:
Get ICT’s latest reports and analysis: sign up for our e-mail list at savetibet.org/email »

, , ,