By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, June 19: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan in his final address made to the UN Human Rights Council’s 38th session on Monday said that despite multiple efforts by his office, China has not granted “unfettered access” to his staff into so-called Chinese regions, of Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein while delivering his opening statement and global update of human rights concerns at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, said, “In China, despite efforts by my Office to establish conditions conducive to an effective dialogue, my staff have not been given unfettered access to the country, including to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the human rights situation is reportedly fast deteriorating”.
Commissioner said that in the areas where UN officials have been denied entry, “the human rights situation is reportedly fast deteriorating”. He said, “I am, furthermore, dismayed by China’s continuing efforts to prevent independent members of civil society from engaging with human rights mechanisms, including Treaty Body reviews, this Council's UPR, and many mandate-holders.”
The Commissioner whose term is ending later this year said that only two mandate-holders have visited the country in the past five years, and that China more than 15 pending requests for visits.
“I encourage the authorities to enable all actors to contribute to all the international human rights mechanisms, and to cooperate with them in a spirit of open and mutual partnership, in order to improve respect for the rights and freedoms of China’s people,” he further said in his address.
The Dharamshala based Tibetan exile government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration had pushed for reciprocal diplomatic access for international politicians and civil society representatives in the face of China’s refusal to give access to their counterparts in areas like occupied Tibet and Xinjiang.
China, a leading nation with economic, political and military clout is widely censured for its poor human rights record perpetuated by an iron grip by the ruling communist party over its territories including occupied Tibet.
Reporters without Borders have said that accessing Tibet is more difficult that getting into the reclusive North Korea. Independent International reports by Freedom House ranks Tibet the least free place on earth, after Syria.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged all nations "to do more, to speak louder and work harder for the common purpose and for universal human rights law, to better our chances for a global peace."
He also expressed his concern over the recent policy adopted by the US administration on forcibly separating immigrant children form their parents. He mentioned that, “In the United States, I am deeply concerned by recently adopted policies which punish children for their parents’ actions”.Tenzin Zompa contributed to this reported