Geneva — The European Union and around 14 countries have expressed concern about human rights abuses in Tibet and China, and urge China to ensure unhindered access for the High Commissioner during the planned visit, including including in Xinjiang.
During the 49th session of the HRC in Geneva, Switzerland, many countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Republic Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Norway, the United States and the European Union, highlighted human rights violations in Tibet, East Turkestan and Inner Mongolia, and called China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Ambassador Simon Manley, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, delivered the UK’s statement on Item 4 setting out concerns about human rights abuses in Russia and China and said, “We share the serious concerns repeatedly expressed about the widespread violations in China. The situation in Tibet remains of deep international concern, including new reports of boarding schools being used to further erode cultural, linguistic and religious identity. We also call on China to allow journalists to report without fear of arrest, harassment or reprisal.
Denmark said at the 49th session of the HRC: “We are deeply concerned about reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet. We urge China to ensure unhindered access for the High Commissioner during the planned visit, including to Xinjiang.
HE Ambassador Nathalie Olijslager delivered the statement from the Netherlands during the 49th session of the HRC and said: “In China, the restriction of civic freedoms is most severe for minorities living in Xinjiang and Tibet, while citizens in the rest of the country are also denied the freedoms of true civic space. The decline is most visible in Hong Kong, where civil and political rights are rapidly curtailed. The Netherlands encourages the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit her report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang as soon as possible and reiterates that a visit to China must include meaningful access and without hindrance.”
H.E. Ambassador Ms. Anna Jardfelt delivered Sweden’s statement at the 49th session of the HRC on March 21, 2022 and said: “The human rights situation in China remains of concern, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet. Human rights violations continuously target persons belonging to minorities, human rights defenders, media professionals and others exercising their freedom of expression. The continued arbitrary detention of Swedish and EU citizen Gui Minhai must end.
Ambassador Michèle Taylor, delivered the statement of the United States of America during the 49th session of the HRC on March 21, 2022, and said: “In China, the government continues to commit genocide and crimes against the humanity in Xinjiang against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other minority groups. We urge the High Commissioner to immediately publish her report on the situation.
HE Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, delivered Finland’s statement on human rights situations that require the attention of the Council during the 49th session of the HRC on 21 March 2022, and said: “Human rights defenders rights, opposition representatives, lawyers, ethnic minorities, journalists and many others also face severe restrictions in China. Reports on the human rights situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang are particularly serious. We expect meaningful and unhindered access also to Xinjiang during the agreed visit of the High Commissioner and her team to China. The commissioner is important.”
Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith delivered Norway’s statement at the 49th session of the Human Rights Council on March 21, 2022 and said: “We call on China to respect, protect and ensure freedom of expression of all the inhabitants. China must guarantee unrestricted access to Xinjiang for the High Commissioner.”
The European Union said: “With regard to the human rights situation in China, the EU reiterates its continuing and serious concerns about the existence of a vast network of political re-education camps, widespread surveillance , systemic and severe restrictions on the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief, as well as evidence-based reports of forced labour, forced sterilization, birth control and family separation policies and sexual and gender-based violence The EU urges China to uphold its obligations under national and international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including Uyghurs and persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities throughout China, in particular in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia.”
“The EU welcomes the announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to present her findings on the human rights situation in Xinjiang and encourages the publication of the report as soon as possible. The EU takes note of the High Commissioner’s announcement of the preparations for her visit to China. Furthermore, the EU calls on the UN human rights treaty bodies, in particular the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to review the application of the core human rights treaties, including in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the Tibet Autonomous Region,” she said. .
The European Union has also called on China to release human rights activists including Dorjee Tashi, Go Sherab Gyatso and Rinchen Tsultrim.
The 49th session of the Human Rights Council begins on February 28 and will end on April 1, 2022.