The International Campaign for Tibet once again drew attention to the alarming human rights deterioration in Tibet during the General Debate of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
ICT’s EU Policy Director Vincent Metten, on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, called on UN member states to vote against China’s full membership in the Human Rights Council in October. Metten also emphasized the critical need for nations to hold the Chinese government accountable for its increasingly severe human rights violations during its fourth Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in January.
During the General Debate, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU pointedly criticized China for the dangerous situation in Tibet.
“The Chinese government’s ongoing policy of repression aims to eradicate the authentic and self-determined Tibetan culture. This policy must be stopped immediately,” said Metten.
Metten particularly underscored the Chinese government’s forced resettlement policy, which to date has displaced countless Tibetans and Tibetan communities from their homes. He also criticized the Chinese government’s boarding school scheme, which has separated 1 million Tibetan children from their families and mother tongue, as well as torture, arbitrary detention and the disappearance of Tibetan environmental defenders.
Metten also denounced the persecution of Tibetans exercising their right to freedom of religion and belief, including the Chinese Communist Party’s regular interference in the appointment of Tibetan Buddhist clergy.
In a side event at the UN Human Rights Council, the “State of Fundamental Freedoms in Tibet” was discussed. ICT Germany Executive Director Kai Müller spoke on the topic of forced resettlement of Tibetan nomads on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. Gloria Montgomery from the Tibet Justice Center and Pema Doma from Students for a Free Tibet also raised the boarding school system in Tibet, as well as the persecution of human rights and environmental defenders, and the CCP’s overall policies of persecution in Tibet. The event on 20 September was moderated by Raphaël Viana David from the International Service for Human Rights and well-attended by representatives of diplomatic missions in Geneva.