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StartseiteAmnesty International Oral Statement on Tibet at the Human Rights Council 2012-03

21.03.2012

Amnesty International Oral Statement on Tibet at the Human Rights Council March 19, 2012

The Vienna Declaration and Program of Action urges States to promote and protect the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.

Freedom of religious worship is guaranteed under the constitution of China and so are the rights of minority nationalities. Nonetheless, restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and religion and on cultural rights continue in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

At least 30 ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire in China since February 2009 in protest against these restrictions, and the heavy presence of security forces since 2008 when protests swept across the region. Tibetans have also held prayer vigils and demonstrations against repressive government policies. The authorities have used force to break up some peaceful demonstrations and have detained participants. On three occasions in January,2012 security forces shot protestors, killing at least three and injuring dozens. Officials subjected more than 300 people, mostly monks, to enforced disappearance in April 2011. Most were believed to have been released, by August.

Authorities have branded those who have self-immolated as people with “very bad reputations” or “criminal records.” Three people were sentenced to prison terms of between ten and 13 years for “intentional homicide” following the self immolation of a young monk in March 2011. No details from their trials were released but, in light of well-documented judicial practices in the Tibet Autonomous Region and across China, Amnesty International believes these trials would not have been conducted in accordance with international fair trial standards. Amnesty International urges the Chinese authorities to:

  • redress violations of the freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and cultural rights which have fuelled resentment among Tibetans;
  • provide information about the current whereabouts and well-being of individuals who set themselves on fire in protest and were removed from the scene;
  • provide information about lay people and religious people detained
  • resume meaningful dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan community who can represent widely-held human rights concerns;
  • exercise restraint in policing demonstrations and conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the allegation of use of excessive force
  • allow independent monitors into the region.

Thank you Madam President.

Here's a link to China's response.