By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 29: UN member states at the ongoing 48th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session condemned China for its human rights abuses in Tibet, according to Tibet.net. Delegates from Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United States and European Union, on behalf of 26 member states, expressed concerns over the overwhelming human rights record in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
The US strongly condemned the economic exploitation, systemic racism and increasing destruction of cultural heritage by China, and further expressed continued concern over China’s severe restrictions on religious, linguistic and cultural traditions in Tibet. On behalf of the 26 member states and European Union, France reiterated calls on China to comply with obligations under national and international law to respect human rights, including the rights belonging to minorities, especially in Tibet, Xinjiang and in Inner Mongolia.
The Danish delegate reiterated the call on China for granting meaningful access for the High Commissioner and other independent observers to investigate ongoing human rights crises. Echoing similar concerns, the Kingdom of Netherlands noted serious concerns about the restrictions on press freedom and freedom of religion or belief in Tibet.
Switzerland condemned China’s continued arbitrary detention of minorities and called on China to respect the rights of Tibetan people. The Tibet Bureau office in Geneva testified before the Swiss parliamentarians last week and spoke against China’s repeated destruction of the Tibetan plateau’s fragile environment in the name of development. “The fundamental values and credibility of the Council is at stake,” representative Kalden Tsomo said while urging the UN council to make further assessment on environmental impact in Tibet.