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Poland wants Council of Europe to support Tibet

May 21, 2008

Polish Radio
May 20, 2008

Polish Ombudsman Janusz Kochanowski has made an appeal to Terry
Davis, secretary general of the Council of Europe, to undertake
action in order to amend the present situation in Tibet.

According to Kochanowski, supporting the people of Tibet is a moral
duty of all the countries in the Council of Europe.

"The ideals of freedom, civil disobedience, the right to resistance
and observance of human rights are the illustrious achievements of
Europe's jurisdiction and legal tradition. Our duty is to protect
anyone whom these rights are denied," wrote Kochanowski in a letter to Davis.

In March, Kochanowski held a meeting with representatives of NGO's
fighting for the observance of human rights in Tibet to jointly
decide on the future course of action. Already at that point he was
saying that the Council of Europe should present its standpoint on
the Tibet issue.

The situation in Tibet became particularly volatile after 10 March,
which marked the 49th anniversary of a brutal crackdown of an
anti-Chinese uprising by Tibetans. Buddhist monks held peaceful
marches in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which soon developed into the
largest display of discontent over Chinese rule in 20 years.

The Tibetan government in exile claims as many as 140 people were
killed by Chinese police. The accident caused outrage among the
international community and prompted some to call for boycotting the
2008 Olympics in Beijing. (mn)
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