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UK states concern over Tibet at UN human rights review of China PDF Print E-mail
[22 October 2013] The UK government expressed its concerns over the human rights situation in Tibet at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China which took place earlier today. The UK also raised recommendations for China to abolish arbitrary detention and set out a timetable to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Due to the large number of countries wishing to make statements on China's human rights record during the UPR process, the UK had less than a minute to raise its concerns. However, thanks in part to behind-the-scenes lobbying by Tibet Society and campaigning by its members and supporters, the UK government included Tibet in its statement, saying they "remain concerned about the human rights situation" and, in particular, "the protection of cultural rights and religious freedoms".

Tibet Society welcomes the UK government's statement and calls on the Chinese government to immediately end its repression in Tibet and implement the UK's recommendations to abolish arbitrary detentions and to set a clear timetable for ratification of the ICCPR.

Unless the Chinese government responds favourably to the UK's recommendations and demonstrates a clear commitment to ending human rights violations against the Tibetan people, Tibet Society urges the UK government to vote against China's re-election to the UN Human Rights Council on 12 November. Tibet Society also calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to raise the issues of Tibet and human rights during his visit to China later this year.

A full report on China's UPR will be posted after the process concludes at the end of this week.

Statement by the United Kingdom at the Universal Periodic Review of China, 22 October 2013

The UK welcomes progress on economic and social rights since China's last UPR and notes the major revision of the Criminal Procedure Law, which included positive measures on defence rights and torture prevention.

We are concerned about restrictions on freedom of expression and association including recent clampdowns on civil society and the use of social media, and about legal protections for human rights defenders. We also remain concerned about the human rights situation in ethnic minority areas including Xinjiang and Tibet, in particular with respect to the protection of cultural rights and religious freedoms.

We recommend:
1. That the government abolish all forms of arbitrary and extra-judicial detention.
2. That the government set out a clear legislative timetable for ratificiation of the ICCPR.

While we welcome the abolition of the death penalty for 13 offences in 2011, we urge greater transparency over its use and further reductions to the number capital crimes.

Further reading & links

Take Action: Call on the UK government to 'Stand up for Tibet' by voting against China's re-election to the UN Human Rights Council and to raise the issue of Tibet during the Prime Minister's upcoming visit to China. Click here for recommended action and more details.

Watch: recording of China's UPR session at the UN. (UK statement from 03:27:45. USA statement follows at 03:30:00)

Read: BBC - China defends human rights record at United Nations (22 Oct)

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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