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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

NGOs hold China accountable for crackdown on Tibetans at UN meeting

September 24, 2010

International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
September 20, 2010

International NGOs, including the Human Rights
Watch today spoke before the 15th session of the
UN Human Rights Council, demanding China to
"release accurate information about those killed
and injured by security forces and hold
accountable, in a manner consistent with
international human rights law, those responsible
for using excessive use of force against unarmed
protesters" following the 2008 Tibetan Uprising.

Raising their concern over China's crackdown on
peaceful protests against mining operations in
Eastern Tibet, five NGOs from France, USA,
Germany and India, in a joint statement,
similarly called upon the Chinese authorities "to
conduct an effective, independent and transparent
investigation into the extrajudicial killings of
Tibetans in Pelyul so that those responsible for
these unlawful acts are made accountable and the
affected Tibetan families fully compensated."

Some 50 NGOs and 29 countries inscribed to speak
to the UN highest human rights body on the agenda
item on "human rights situations that require the
Council's attention."  Earlier when the debate
began on 17 September, Belgium on behalf of EU
countries, Croatia, Iceland, FYR of Macedonia,
Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovinia and Montenegro
stated that they remain "preoccupied" with the
situation of "ethnic and religious minorities" in
China.  The EU also urged China to ratify the
International Covenant on Civil and Politial
Rights which Beijing signed in 1998.

Moment after the Belgian Ambassador's statement,
the United States of America told the Council
that it had "growing concerns about recent
setbacks in the development of the rule of law,
including the harassment and disbarment of public
interest lawyers, restrictions on NGOs and the
Internet, long sentences for people involved in
peaceful political activity, restrictions on
religious freedom,and the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities."

"We are encouraged that both Governments and NGOs
continue to pay attention to the grave human
rights situation in Tibet through these
interventions at the Council," said Ms. Tsering
Jampa, Executivie Director, ICT-Europe in the Netherlands.

Ms. Juliette De Rivero, Human Rights Watch
Director in Geneva, told the Council that HRW's
Tibet report of July 2010, showed that the
Chinese authorities "have yet to account for
hundreds of detainees arrested in the wake of the
urest, and that the highly politicized judicial
system continues to preclude any possibility of
protesters being judged fairly."

"More than two years after the protests,
disappearances, wrongful convictions and
imprisonment, persecution of families, and the
targeting of Tibetans suspected of sympathizing
with the protest movement continue unabated,"  Ms. De Rivero added.

Mr. Gianfranco Fattorini, UN Representative of
French NGO, Movement Against Racism and for
Friendship between Peoples (MRAP) delivering the
statement on behalf of five NGOs informed the
Council that Tibetans in Pelyul "were protesting
against the gold mining operations by
Chinese-owned Kartin Company which had led to an
overcrowded population, severely degraded the
fertility of the farmland, and adversely affected
the local grassland habitat."  Asian Indigenous
and Tribal Peoples Network, International
Educational Development, France-Libertes and
Society for Threatened Peoples were the other
NGOs who co-sponsored the MRAP statement.

Last week, in an Opening Statement to the
Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights said that the curtailment of civil
society's scope of action in a number of
countries, including China was "disturbing."

Human Rights Watch statement also made clear of
its concerns that despite repeated calls over the
past two years the Chinese government has not
allowed the High Commissioner or Special Rapporteurs to visit Tibet.
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