Follow Up: China & the UPR at the United Nations

Last week Tibet activists attended the 25th UN Human Rights Council Session to hear China's responses to the recommendations made in the UPR (Universal Periodic Review).

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  1. "Our combined work with fellow human rights activists from China, East Turkistan, and fellow Tibet groups DO work. Together we create pressure on China to address human rights for the people of Tibet and those suffering under China's failed leadership. We have proved this through our victories during this campaign. Working together to bring long term solutions for Tibet is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. So, now it's time for world leaders to do the same." - Pema Yoko (Students for a Free Tibet)
  2. China has proved yet again that it is unworthy of its Council membership. Last November we openly opposed China's re-election to the Human Rights Council, and, thanks to an Avaaz petition,1 million people agreed with us. While China may continue to flout the rules and try to silence all who criticize its human rights record, it will never succeed.

    For the last year the global Tibet movement has been working hard to highlight Tibet in the context of a process called China's Universal Periodic Review. In October, 14 governments expressed concern about Tibet and made recommendations for China to improve its policies towards Tibetans. 

    Members of the Tibet Lobby Coalition were in Geneva to press home the message about Tibet ahead of the final stage of China's review. They bore witness to China's hysterical attempts to block Member States and NGOs from marking the death of human rights defender Cao Shunli, detained for attempting to travel to Geneva for China's UPR and denied medical treatment in prison. China further attempted to silence an NGO statement, objecting to the statement's affiliation with the International Campaign for Tibet and Human Rights in China, and harassed campaigners, photographing and filming them against Council rules. 
  3. 20 March: "We in the Tibet lobby Team have managed to secure good seats but we are surrounded by Chinese agents, masked as NGOs and UN workers, and they're popping up like besuited gophers across the room. One senior Tibetan just remarked that they're trying to bring their police state here. Even though they're breathing down our necks we are still here and still on view. Let the show begin!" - Iona Liddell (Tibet Justice Center) 
  4. --> After a delay of 24 hours, China agreed that the High Commissioner for Human Rights could visit Tibet although, despite years of asking, Navi Pillay still hasn't been given a date, farcically claimed to already give Tibetans and other "ethnic minorities" equal rights, and rejected the remainder of the Tibet-related recommendations. The US responded with a powerful statement, and called for the release of Tibetan hero Dhondup Wangchen.
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