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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibet's human rights issues raised at the 14th session of UN Human Rights Council

June 16, 2010

Central Tibetn Administration
June 10, 2010

Geneva, 9 June -- The UN Human Rights Council
began its 14th regular session in Geneva from 31
May and will continue until 18 June.

Several UN Special Procedure mandate holders
presented their annual report to this Council for
discussion. Among these reports, the Special
Rapporteur on the independence of judges and
lawyers [1], the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of
Expression and Opinion [2]; and the Special
Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
executions [3] reported cases of Tibetans who
were arrested for exercising their freedom of
speech, detained, given death sentences by the
Chinese courts as well as the death of Mr.
Phuntsok Rabgay, a 27-year-old monk, in Drango
County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

The Special Rapporteur on independence of judges
and lawyers with the Special Rapporteur on
Summary Execution in their joint communication to
China raised the cases of five Tibetans sentenced
to death by the Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Lhasa on 8 April 2009.

While thanking the Chinese government for its
response to the allegations, the Special
Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers
sought further clarification on when, and how
often, the lawyers who defended them had the
opportunity to meet with their clients ahead of
the trials on 8 April 2009. The Special
Rapporteur also sought further information from
the government on the results of the
investigations that were undertaken to determine
if lawyers were prevented from defending the
accused persons and information on the alleged
intimidation of lawyers who volunteered to defend
Tibetans criminally charged in relation to the
incidents and reiterated that in all cases, and
notably in capital punishment cases, there is an
obligation to provide criminal defendants with a
fair and public hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal.

Mr. Tenzin Samphel KAYTA, on behalf of Society
for Threatened Peoples drew attention of the
Council on the two Tibetans who had been
sentenced recently to death with two years
reprieve. He also informed the Council that
Tibetan source has documented 394 Tibetans who
were sentenced to varying prison terms since
April 2008 by the Chinese court. He further
questioned the independence of China's judiciary
and judges saying the whole judiciary system's
only objective is to protect the State's interests or the Communist Party.

He also referred to the case of Phurbu Tsering
Rinpoche who was sentenced by the Chinese court
without sufficient evidence, factual clarity or a
fair trial. According to a public statement
issued by the two Chinese lawyers of Phurbu
Tsering Rinpoche: To charge that Living Buddha
Buronglang has committed the crime of illegally
possessing weapons and explosives and of
occupying state property lacks factual clarity
and sufficient evidence. Also, serious violations
of the law occurred during the procedures of this case.

International NGOs including Human Rights Watch
and Helsinki foundation for Human Rights raised
Tibet issues in their statements.

Countries who expressed concern over human rights
situation in China are USA and European Union. US
Delegate said, ethnic and religious minorities in
Tibet and Xinjiang are subject to particularly
onerous restrictions, including restraint on religious practice.[4]

Spanish delegate on behalf of European Union
expressed concern about human rights situation in
China and strongly condemned the increasing
violence directed against persons belonging to
religious and other minorities in various part of the world.

In its own capacity, German delegate said in
China torture was still a used practice especially in detention.

Czech delegate also expressed concern about the
ongoing restrictions on the freedom of expression
in China, and it was alarming that 21 years after
violent suppression of a movement of citizens
peacefully demonstrating for a pluralistic
system, Chinese citizens continued to be persecuted.

Before and during the course of the session, Mr.
Tenzin KAYTA met some of the UN Special
Rapporteurs, EU and US diplomats as well as many
representatives of international NGOs seeking their support for Tibet.

--Report filed by Tenzin Samphel, Office of Tibet, Geneva
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