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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

GENERAL ASSEMBLY Human Rights Council Thirteenth Session Item 4: General Debate

March 17, 2010

HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS REQUIRE THE COUNCIL'S ATTENTION

Statement by Ms. Tsering JAMPA on behalf of Helsinki Foundation for Human
Rights

Mr. President,

We welcome China's announcement at this Council session that the Chinese
authorities will receive the Special Rapporteur on the right to Food for an
official mission which we hope will include visits to Tibet, Xinjiang and
Inner Mongolia. But we do recall that China failed to fulfill its pledge
made at the UPR of China that it will receive one Special Procedure
mandate-holder in 2009 and this reminds us that while having invited the
Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief in 2004, China
refused to confirm dates when requested by the Special Rapporteur.

This Council should also note that following the 2008 Uprising on the
Tibetan Plateau, seven Special Procedure mandate-holders in a press
statement of 10 April 2008 said: "The Government of China has invited
several fact-finding delegations, including one consisting of journalists
and another of foreign diplomats, to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region. Such
visits are no substitute for granting access to those United Nations experts
who have requested a visit to China.
While welcoming the Government of China's previous invitations to United
Nations mandate holders, it is nevertheless urged to respond equally
positively to outstanding visit requests to enable mandate holders including
the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to
carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them by the Human Rights
Council."

Mr. President,

At this session the Council raised the important subject of people living
under enforced disappearances with report of the Working Group on Enforced
or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) showing 28 unresolved cases with
China, including the case of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Eleventh Panchen Lama
of Tibet who disappeared in 1995 at the age of six years. Since 1997, China
failed to provide document as requested by the WGEID to support China's
claim that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family wished not to be disturbed by
outsiders. The Working Group told China that it "would appreciate being
provided by the Government of China with documents supporting its statement
that he and his parents had appealed to the Government for protection and at
present are "leading normal lives and enjoying perfect health." Similarly,
China has ignored the call by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
that independent expert be allowed to visit the Panchen Lama to confirm his
well-being. As the 21st birthday of this spiritual leader of the Tibetan
people approaches, we urge the Chinese authorities to provide full evidence
to support its claims, including the recent one which said that Gedhun
Choekyi Nyima is living in Tibet.

Mr. President,

While the Tibetan people remained totally deprived of their human rights
confronted by a "people's war" from China after the 2008 Uprising, another
major policy imposed on them is the forced evictions of thousands of Tibetan
nomads from their ancestral lands. Today, this misguided policy is being
implemented rigorously without the prior consent of the Tibetans. The nomads
express the deprivation of their values remaining in helplessness state when
moved into concrete barrack housing without their livestock. Since this
policy wipes out the nomadic way of life of the Tibetan people, we urge the
Chinese authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on all resettlements
until independent experts carry out a review of policies that require or
produce displacement and resettlement of Tibetan herders and other rural
population in Tibetan areas, the confiscation of their property, or imposed
slaughter of their livestock.

Thank you, Mr. President.

16 March, 2010
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