Tibetans and Uyghurs protested against China, at the China's 4th Universal Period Review in Geneva on January 23, 2024. (Photo:file)

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Geneva — Tibetans and Uyghurs highlighted the serious human rights violations committed by the Chinese government, during the UN member states reviewing China's 4th Universal Period Review in Geneva on Tuesday. Over 20 countries raised China's serious human rights violations in Tibet. They called on China to respect human rights of Tibetans and abolish the Chinese boarding schools in Tibet.

China's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) took place on January 23, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the fourth Universal Periodic Review of China's human rights record between 2018 and 2023. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a five-yearly peer review of the human rights records of UN Member States, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which assesses the human rights records and the fulfillment of human rights obligations and commitments of other States, and makes recommendations to the State under review.

At the fourth Universal Periodic Review of China's human rights record, held in the UN hall in Geneva, UN member states examined China's human rights record over the past five years. Among the Member States, 20 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, Lithuania, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Ireland, Montenegro, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark and Estonia raised China's violations of freedom of religion, belief and cultural expression, political rights, freedom of assembly, as well as the targeting of human rights defenders, harassment, surveillance and threats against individuals abroad. More than 30 countries, including the above-mentioned states, call on China to allow the Human Rights Council's special procedures and special rapporteurs free and meaningful access, particularly to Xinjiang and Tibet.

On January 23, 2024, Tibetans and Uyghurs protested against China in front of the United Nations building in Geneva, denouncing the serious human rights violations committed by the Chinese government in Tibet and East Turkestan, on the very day that UN member states reviewed China's five-year human rights record, including in Tibet and East Turkestan.

They highlighted the serious violations of human rights committed by the Chinese government, such as freedom of religion, education and expression, the Sinicisation of religion and language, and the arrest and torture of Tibetans and Uyghurs for exercising their fundamental rights in Tibet and East Turkestan. They also highlighted the repressive policies of the Chinese authorities towards Tibetans and Uyghurs and called on the Chinese government to put an end to colonial-style boarding schools for Tibetan children.

Kalsang Choyulpa, President of Tibetan Youth Association in Europe said, "I am here to speak out about the human rights violations caused by the CCP to my homeland Tibet. The CCP has to be held accountable for their actions so that our identity does not fade away."

Topjor Tsultrim, Communications Coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet said, “China kills Tibetans inside of Tibet and tries to silence us in exile because they are terrified of our one invincible, immortal strength: the truth. In Geneva, we will lay the truth bare for the world to see."

Tibetan activists and members of Students for a Free Tibet, International Tibet Network, Tibet Action Institute, Tibet Initiatives, Tibet Justice Center and Tibetan Youth Association in Europe met with the governments of over 30 countries ahead of China's Universal Periodic Review on January 23, 2024, and briefed them on the truth of the situation in Tibet, which includes Chinese boarding schools in Tibet, the denial of religious freedom for Tibetans, and the unfair and unfavourable working conditions for Tibetans and Tibetan human rights defenders/justice and fair trials inside Tibet under Chinese regime.