March 19, 2004

Tibet: UK Raises Tibet at High Level Segment of the 60th session of the Human Rights Commission

UK continues to have serious concerns about a wide range of human rights issues in China, Mr. Bill Rammell, MP and Foreign & Commonwealth Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary Of State said
Dharamsala, March 19 - Britain yesterday raised the issue of Tibet at the High Level Segment of the 60th session of the Commission on Human Rights on Tibet. Mr. Bill Rammell, MP and Foreign & Commonwealth Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary Of State, United Kingdom, said that they continue to have serious concerns about a wide range of human rights issues in China, including the use of the death penalty, the treatment of dissidents, freedom of religion, the use of arbitrary detention and torture, freedom of expression, and the situation in Tibet and Xinjiang.

" In the case of some countries where we have serious concerns, we have developed relations with the Governments concerned that allow us to aim for a policy of critical engagement. ...But we believe that critical engagement, including working in partnership with the Chinese to promote better human rights, is a productive way to tackle these issues", Mr. Rammell said.

He further said, "But, there are times when the level of violations so high, when the consequences for the victims, the region and the world are so great, and when the political will to tackle the problems, alone or in cooperation, is so manifestly absent, that we have to take more immediate action. In these situations, we must sometimes rely on pressure - peer pressure - as the only means left by which to promote and protect those human rights which underpin the freedom, justice and peace to which we all aspire."

Mr. Chime Rinzin Choekyapa, the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Switzerland thanked him for his statement on the situation of human rights in Tibet. Mr. Rammell said he and his ministerial colleagues will be meeting with His Holiness during the upcoming visit to U.K. this summer.

So far, Germany, USA and Britain referred to Tibet in their statements as part of the high level segment, and the British statement is by far the most extensive one. (TibetNet)

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