China denies its Tibet problem again, but cannot silence criticism

From:Alison Reynolds (International Tibet Network) []

Yesterday, at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, China 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. 

This week, members of the Tibet Lobby Coalition (right) 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. 

After a delay of 24 hours, China yesterday 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.
As China remains in denial about Tibet, President Xi Jinping is next week visiting the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium, where he will meet Heads of State and political leaders. 
If you are in Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon, Berlin or Brussels, please join a protest to make sure Xi Jinping gets the message loud and clear that he DOES have a problem in Tibet. See the schedule below for more details.
Please consider donating to help us continue to support Tibet Groups in this important work. The Network met the costs of the Tibet Lobby Coalition's presence in Geneva this week. Can you help us ensure that we can continue to do so?
Many thanks once again for your support in highlighting the terrible situation in Tibet. Tragically, two further Tibetans in Tibet set light to themselves on 16 March - a 20 year-old monk named Lobsang Palden from Kirti Monastery, Ngaba, and an unknown man from Tsekhog - bringing the total to 129. Rest assured we will never stop campaigning for our governments to Unite for Tibet, 

Alison Reynolds,
Executive Director, 
International Tibet Network

Xi Jinping's European Tour 2014. 

22 March : Amsterdam, Dam Square. Time to be announced. More information from Amnesty International
24 March : The Hague, Malieveld. 11.00 - 18.00. Transport available from Amsterdam. More information from International Campaign for Tibet & TSG Netherlands (select the Amsterdam office link)
27 March : Paris, Place du Trocadéro, opposite the Eiffel Tower, 14.30. More information from Students for a Free Tibet
28 March : Berlin - in front of Schloss Bellevue from 10.00 and in front of the Cancellery from 13.00. More information from Tibet Initiative Deutschland
31 March : Brussels, 13:00 - 15:00, Luxemburgplein / Place du Luxembourg, 1050. More information from Tibet Groups in Belgium

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