Activists call UN member states to vote against China's reelection to the UNHRC, Mcleod Ganj square, Nov. 12, 2013, phayul photo/Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, November 12: Tibetans and supporters here today urged the United Nations missions and foreign ministries worldwide to vote against China’s nomination for re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“Re-electing China as a member for the United Nations Human Rights Council is a shame to what this institution stands for. All indications from Human Rights organizations have shown that China has failed to improve its Human Rights record,” said Tenzing Jigme, President of Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro - independence group in exile.
“Until China proves that they are serious and respect human values, social justice and equality for all including Tibetans, the United Nations should hold them accountable and keep them off the Human Rights Council,” said Jigme.
Activists wrapped themselves up in black cloth and held copies of the various articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the main square of Mcleod Ganj town.
The campaign was jointly organized by Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet- India.
Avaaz, an online advocacy group has also launched a signature campaign, “Is this Tibet’s Big Chance” urging the United Nation member states not to elect China into the Human Rights Council. Avaaz targets 1 million signatures by today and will deliver it to the UN delegations.
Today, on November 12, 193 United Nations members will elect 14 new members to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC). China is one of five Asian nations competing for four Asia-region seats on the council.
More than a dozen UN member states raised concern for human rights situation in Tibet during China’s second Universal Periodic Review in Geneva on October 22. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council that provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.
Passang Tsering, President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet said, “During the tenure of their membership in the Human Rights Council, the human rights condition in China has deteriorated dramatically. The Communist authoritarian rule in China has repressed, tortured and intimidated the freedom and rights of its people and the Tibetans, Uyghur and the Mongolians.
Similar campaigns were also carried out in various parts of the world as voting takes place today.