DHARAMSHALA: The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet has called on the UK government to raise the issue of China’s human rights record inside Tibet during the ongoing (13 June to 1 July) United Nation Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
In a letter addressed to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and the UK’s Permanent Representative at the UN Julian Braithwaite, APPG for Tibet Chair and MP Tim Loughton urged that ‘the United Kingdom keep human rights violations by China firmly on the Council’s agenda’.
The letter further urged the government to ‘ensure that China is held to account for the human rights situation in Tibet’, saying it is a matter of principle and integrity that the international community continue to stand in solidarity with defenders and activists on the ground.
The MPs sought to push forth specific agendas concerning the human rights violations such as increasing and violent crackdowns in Tibet, citing Human Rights Watch’s May 2016 report which stated ‘China’s ongoing campaign to suppress peaceful dissent in Tibet has led to a high rate of detentions, prosecutions, and convictions since 2008, and a changing pattern of unrest and politicised detentions, prosecutions, and convictions can be seen to link to China’s “stability maintenance” campaign – a policy that has resulted in unprecedented surveillance and control in Tibetan villages and towns’.
The group also appealed to the UK government to raise the individual cases of detainees particularly monk and community leader Khenpo Kartse, language rights defender Tashi Wangchuk, primary school teacher Lhamo Kyab and retired doctor Yeshe Choedron. It also raised specific cases of deaths in detention, including that of Tibetan community leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, and expressed concerns about the lack of information given by China on a number of other individual cases, including 24 Tibetans currently in detention.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, founded in 1986, consists of UK MPs and Lords with an interest in Tibet and concern over its occupation by China. The group recognises Tibet is an occupied country which had independent links with Britain.