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Letter sent to Foreign Minister on China's UPR PDF Print E-mail
On 8 October 2013, Tibet Society delivered a letter to Minister of State Hugo Swire and met with Foreign Office officials to urge the UK government to raise the situation on Tibet during China's upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The review is due to be held by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 22 October. Below is the text of the letter delivered to Hugo Swire.


Tibet Society logoHugo Swire MP
Minister of State
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

8 October 2013

Dear Minister,

Ref. United Nations Human Rights Councils Universal Periodic Review of China

As members of International Tibet Network, a global coalition of Tibet groups dedicated to ending human rights violations in Tibet, we are writing to urge Her Majestys Government to strongly raise the situation in Tibet during Chinas Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 22 October.

Since Chinas last UPR in 2009 the situation in Tibet has significantly deteriorated. This is as a direct result of oppressive policies and actions implemented by the Chinese government. These include the direct management of monasteries by government officials in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and the ongoing involuntary resettlement of millions of Tibetan nomads and rural residents; both of these practices threaten to undermine the Tibetan way of life and add to the considerable tensions in Tibetan regions. For more information please read our summary submission and recommendations at bit.ly/1gxOQYJ and suggested questions to raise at bit.ly/18xxYME.

Moreover, these and other actions taken by Chinese authorities in Tibet show little respect to the rights of ethnic minorities, much less Chinas averred commitment to uphold these.

With increasing concerns over the current dire situation in Tibet, last week a group of us went to Geneva to represent the International Tibet Network. Here we held meetings with more than 30 UN missions to discuss what actions governments could take to raise Tibet during Chinas UPR. Our meeting with Senior Human Rights Advisor from the UK Mission (Geneva), Bob Last, was particularly productive. With this in mind we now very much hope
the UK will include robust Tibet-focussed recommendations and questions in its contribution
to Chinas UPR.

We are encouraged by Foreign Secretary William Hagues call for the Chinese government to commute the death sentence of Dolma Kyab, a Tibetan man sentenced to death for homicide after his wife died in a self-immolation protest. Mr Hagues strong appeal, plus his clear stance on the governments commitment to universal human rights when he said, I think that we should always be clear in the United Kingdom about our belief in universal human rights and never be afraid to give our advocacy for those rights. That includes relations with China", leads us to anticipate a very robust stance by Her Majestys Government at Chinas UPR.

This clear affirmation of concern also adds weight to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights call for China to address the underlying causes of protests, including self-immolations, in Tibet.

Conditions in Tibet are on a downward spiral and the situation needs to be urgently addressed. The UPR provides a unique opportunity for this and we urge Her Majestys Government to ensure Chinas human rights record in Tibet is thoroughly scrutinised in this UN forum.

If your office would like any more information about recommendations please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Iona Liddell - Executive Director, Tibet Justice Centre
Pema Dolma - National Director, Students for a Free Tibet
Alison Reynolds - Executive Director, International Tibet Network
Philippa Carrick - Chief Executive Officer, Tibet Society
 
Cc: Rt. Hon William Hague MP



Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Family 36; Life 500).
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