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UN Withdraws Tibetan Report from Website

October 30, 2008

Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon, Phayul Special Correspondent
Phayul
October 28, 2008

United Nations, Geneva, 28 October -- Last Friday, the website of the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) linking
to the 41st session of the UN Committee Against Torture suddenly
withdraw a Tibetan report after it was released on the site almost 10 days ago.

"It seems this UN decision was taken at the highest level of the
administration which also involved the office of the UN
Secretary-General," one reliable source in New York told Phayul. "I
guess China exerted more pressure when the High Commissioner for
Human Rights was here to address the General Assembly," the source added.

This Tibetan report titled: "The Continuing Use of Torture against
the Tibetan Peoples," was submitted to the Committee Against Torture
(CAT) in September by the Central Tibetan Administration's (Tibetan
Government in Exile) Department of Information and International
Relations through its office in Geneva.

"We regret this decision but remain confident that our report will be
in the dossier of the 10 independent Members of the Committee," said
Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, the Representative of H. H. the Dalai
Lama at Tibet Bureau in Geneva.

However, the report by the International Campaign for Tibet and that
of Human Rights in China remained on the website despite the demands
from China for their withdrawal. A report submitted by the
Munich-based World Uyghur Congress is yet to appear on the UN website.

Sources also reveal that since early August, the Chinese authorities
through its Missions in Geneva and New York, has been putting
unprecedented pressure on the Committee Against Torture over the
submission of reports by NGOs without UN Consultative Status. China
wanted the Committee not to accept or publish reports from such NGOs
in relation to China's Fourth Periodic Report which the Committee is
scheduled to consider on 7 and 10 November.

More specifically, China was challenging the working method of the
Committee which states: "Under rule 62 of its Rules of Procedure, the
Committee invites NGOs to submit information relevant to its
activities. The information is usually submitted in writing. Copy of
it is brought to the attention of the State concerned unless the
authors object. This practice allows the State party to be better
prepared to respond to questions that may be posed by the Committee
on the basis of such information. NGOs may also brief Committee
members orally during the session. Such briefings, devoted to one
country at the time, are organized outside the formal meetings of the
Committee and are limited to the attendance of Committee members only."

The Committee, as expected, remained firm to safeguard its
independent working methods and refused to comply with China's
demands, according to one NGO representative in Geneva. "What is at
stake here is the attempt by governments to undermine the Treaty Body
mechanism's working methods when it comes to interaction with NGOs
and other stakeholders."

The last report submitted by the Central Tibetan Administration Exile
to the Committee Against Torture was in April 2000 while in July
2001, the exiled Tibetan Government submitted another report to the
UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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