As China was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday, the Tibetan government-in-exile has urged the UN member states to “hold China accountable for its ongoing human rights abuses and prior commitments”.
The Tibetan government-in-exile in a statement issued here said China accepted the principle of “Universality of Human Rights” initially in its National Human Rights Action Plan 2009-2010 and subsequently in its national report for the Universal Periodic Review 2013.
“Moreover, in the aide-memoire announcing its candidacy to the UNHRC, China pledged further protection of the rights and interests of minority ethnic groups,” said the statement.
“However, China has failed in implementing the past commitments with regards to human rights, with the political, economic and cultural repression of Tibetans becoming more conspicuous than ever,” it added.
Maintaining that Tibetans inside Tibet are sending an unequivocal message to the world about the on-ground situation in Tibet, the government-in-exile said latest self-immolation by a 20-year-old Tibetan monk in northeastern Tibet on Tuesday is the clear indicator what is happening in Tibet.
“We are deeply concerned by the alarming ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by China. China has persistently failed to meet its own self-imposed international pledges,” said the statement.
As referred to by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in November 2012, human rights transgressions include: The statement said China also claimed to have “earnestly fulfilled its obligations under the human rights conventions it has acceded to,” while pledging its co-operation with the Human Rights Council.
“Again, these assurances are in sharp contrast with the state's persistent history of non-cooperation with human rights mechanisms, including arbiter detention and torture of Tibetans,” said the statement.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expressed hope that by electing China to the HR, UN member states seek to engage China and make its government more accountable to long-standing human rights issues in Tibet.
“China's membership to the HRC should be linked to its serious commitment to uphold and protect human rights, and in case it fails to do so, it should eventually be expelled from the Council,” said Tsering Tsomo, executive director of TCHRD.
Activists of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), however, condemned the China's reelection to the council stating that a reentry of a country that had poor human rights record was mockery of the international body meant to protect human rights around the world.
“We are disappointed, but not surprised at the decision. It is clear that member nations have turned a blind eye while the Chinese government continues to violate all aspects of International Human Rights laws,” said Tenzing Jigme, president TYC.