Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon
Phayul Special Correspondent
United Nations, Geneva, 18 September – The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) yesterday called upon the Chinese authorities “to inform the Council on the investigation into the crackdown” on the Tibetan Uprising which began on 10 March. Mr. Lukas Machon of the ICJ in a statement to the UN Human Rights Council stated that “violent crackdown on the peaceful protest in Tibet on March ’08, including arbitrary executions, use of excessive non-lethal force by the security forces and arbitrary detentions, has not been investigated to date.”
Yesterday, the 9th session of Human Rights Council continued its discussion on the subject of “human Rights Situations that require the Council’s attention”. Mr. Tenzin S. Kayta delivered the first statement on behalf of 4 NGOs, calling the Council “to encourage the Chinese authorities to immediately receive the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant Special Procedure mandate-holders to visit Tibetan areas of present-day People’s Republic of China.”
“The human rights crisis confronted by the Tibetan people demands the immediate attention as we urge the Council to take serious note of this deteriorating situation”, urged the joint NGO statement by Society for Threatened Peoples, FORUM ASIA (Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development), Asian Indigenous & Tribal Peoples Network and Movement against Racism and for Friendship amongst People (MRAP).
Mr. Qian Bo, a delegated of China in reaction said that his government “rejected a statement made by the Society of Threatened People which misrepresented facts and was totally unfounded. The statement was obviously politically motivated. He also stated that his “government had been working to promote and protect human rights in Tibet.”
The statement by Society for Threatened Peoples alerted the UN’s highest human rights body to take serious note of the overwhelming reports of the deaths, arrests, torture and disappearance Tibetans since China launched the “people’s war” to suppress the Tibetan Uprising”.
During the three-minute allotted time for NGO statements, Mr. Kayta told the Council that: “An analysis of official Chinese figures reveals that over 4,400 Tibetans have been detained or allegedly surrendered in connection with protests which began on 10 March 2008. But these figures do not include every Tibetan area where protests and detentions have occurred. Over 3,000 Tibetans have reportedly been released, leaving the status of over 1,200 Tibetans unknown.”
ICJ informed the Council that it “has been receiving reports of continuous arbitrary and incommunicado detention of monks and other perceived opponents, short of any due process guarantees.” The statement added: “Those sentenced to severe prison terms, including the life imprisonment remain in jail, without the review of legality of criminal procedures organised under distress”.
The Joint NGO intervention on Tibet began by stating that at the Seventh session of the Council, Society for Threatened Peoples raised concern about the frequent reports of the deportation of Tibetan refugees by the Government of Nepal. “Today we urge the Council to take note of the announcement last week that Tibetans living in the country without legal documents would face deportation from Nepal. This is an alarming and yet ironic development as the Nepal stopped issuing registration certificates to Tibetans by 1990s.”
On 15 September, 2008, the Asian Centre for Human Rights said in a press release from New Delhi said: “Nepal not only tolerates similar protests by the Bhutanese refugees but the Communist of Nepal (Maoists) has included the issue of Bhutanese refugees in its Common Minimum Programme. The racist policy of the Maoists-led government against the Tibetan refugees who face arrest, imprisonment and deportation could not have been more conspicuous
When the UN Human Rights Council concluded its debate on human rights situations, it heard from 33 non-governmental organizations that raised the human rights violations in Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Western Sahara, Ethiopia India, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Colombia, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Korea, Egypt, Libya, Viet Nam, Syria, UK, France and Georgia.
France reacted to allegations of involvement in the Rwanda Genocide when its representative to the Council: “France had been seriously accused by name for a role that it did not play in the Rwandan genocide. France deplored this serious and unfounded accusation. The French authorities in the Government and Parliament had addressed this issue in a transparent process. The national commission of inquiry had shed full light on the events.”