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<-Back to WTN Archives Governments statments UN Commision on Human Rights in Geneva
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Thursday, March 25, 2004

1. Governments statments UN Commision on Human Rights in Geneva

25 March 2004
Submitted by Tibet Bureau, Geneva

Statement by Ambassador Mary Whelan, Head of the delegation of Ireland on
behalf of the European Union.

European Union: The EU reaffirms its commitment to the EU-China Human Rights
Dialogue, which is aimed at bringing about practical and measurable
improvements in human rights in China. The dialogue enables us to raise
issues, which continue to be of concern. These include the extensive use of
the death penalty, torture and arbitrary detention. We are also concerned at
repression of freedom of _expression, religion and association, and ongoing
violations of the human rights of trade unionists, pro-democracy and
Internet activists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners. We are
disturbed at the continued deprivation of religious and cultural rights in
Tibet, as well as human rights violations in Xinjiang.

AUSTRALIA: Our bilateral Human Rights Dialogue with China enables a robust
exchange of views on human rights. We look forward to further progress in
and concrete outcomes from the dialogue. We acknowledge China's progress in
recognising social and cultural rights but encourage further steps towards
the realisation of civil and political rights. We encourage China's efforts
to introduce greater transparency and accountability into its legal and
administrative systems. We call on China to ensure that its judicial system
does not curtail the right to freedom of _expression, religion and assembly
of individuals and groups, including in its counter-terrorism activities at
home. We particularly urge China to ensure the rights of its ethnic
minorities, including Uighurs and Tibetans.(Statement by Ms Caroline Millar,
Head of the Australian Delegation)

U.S.A: We began 2003 with hopes that the incremental but unprecedented
progress in China seen in 2002 would continue and expand. However,
throughout the year, regrettably, we saw backsliding on key human rights
issues. There was an increase in arrests of democracy activists, individuals
discussing subjects deemed sensitive by the Government on the Internet,
HIV/AIDS activists, protesting workers, defense lawyers advocating on behalf
of dissidents or the dispossessed, house-church members and others seeking
to take advantage of the space created by Chinese reforms. Harsh repression
of the Falun Gong continued, and the Chinese Government, at times, used the
war on terror to justify its continuing crackdown on Muslim Uighurs.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Government's record in Tibet remains poor; ongoing
abuses include execution without due process, torture, arbitrary arrest,
detention without public trial, and lengthy detention of Tibetans for
peacefully expressing their political or religious views. There is much
China can do to meet its commitments as outlined in the 2002 bilateral human
rights dialogue and to make key structural reforms such as the elimination
of "extra-judicial re-education through labor." We encourage China to do so
and to engage the international community in ways in which it can promote
the civic and political rights of the Chinese people. (Statement by
Ambassador R. S. Williamson).

CANADA: In China, we applaud the recent release of prisoners, but remain
concerned about its restriction on freedom of _expression, association,
religion and spiritual beliefs, (especially in Tibet and Xinjiang), as well
as extra-judicial measures such as re-education through labour. We encourage
China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
(Statement by: Ambassador Paul Meyer, Head of the Canadian Delegation)

NORWAY: Norway values the opportunity to address human rights issues with
the People's Republic of China through our bilateral human rights dialogue.
We welcome China's recent inclusion of human rights protection in its
constitution. My government attaches special importance to the preservation
of the culture and the religious identity of he Tibetan people. We are also
concerned about the imprisonment of individuals who publish their views on
the Internet, the lack of religious and spiritual freedom and the extensive
use of capital punishment in China. Furthermore, we encourage the government
to abolish the "re-education through labour" system. (Statement by:
Ambassador Sverre Bergh Johansen)

NEW ZEALAND: We remain concerned at the continuing restriction on freedom
of _expression and religion, the widespread use and scope of the death
penalty, and reports of arbitrary arrest and detention in China. At the same
time, we commend the commitment of the Chinese Government to strengthen the
rule of law and the decision to add a human rights clause to the Chinese
constitution. We encourage the Chinese Government to complete its
ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
to continue to receive human rights Special Rapporteurs without
pre-conditions.(Statement by Ambassador Tim Caughley)

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Governments statments UN Commision on Human Rights in Geneva
  2. China cracks down on TV station that showed Tibetan flag (RFA)
  3. A ten-day annual Tibetan opera festival starts in Dharamsala (ANI)
  4. Obituary of 'Tsemonling' Dawa (TIN)
  5. Tibetan Girl Becomes Australian under 10 Chess Champion (TN)

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