Over 16 countries raised the human rights abuses by China in Tibet at 52nd session of UNHRC,Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: file

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Geneva – More than 16 countries, including European Union, Australia, UK,Japan and USA, raised China's human rights abuses in Tibet at the 52nd session of the UNHRC, and highlighted "Compulsory Boarding Schools in Tibet" and "DNA collection from Tibetans without consent", "genocide and crimes against humanity by China". US urged the HRC to "maintain focus" on China's atrocities in Tibet and other areas, and also asked the High Commissioner to "address" them.

The issue of human rights violations by China in Tibet was raised by more than 16 countries, including Belgium, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, at the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, currently being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the report of the Tibet Office in Geneva, the representatives of the above-mentioned countries pointed out the human rights violations committed by the Chinese government against Tibetans and others through various means, including mass surveillance, colonial boarding schools, taking DNA samples from Tibetans without their consent, etc.

Concerning the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet, Australia expressed concern about "the erosion of educational, religious, cultural and linguistic rights and freedoms in Tibet. Belgium, which expressed "deep concern" about the human rights violations by China in Tibet, referred to the disturbing development of "compulsory boarding schools and DNA sampling" in Tibet. The Finnish delegation said that “evidence-based” human rights violations by China in Tibet and other regions were "worrying" and called on China to "guarantee universal human rights for all, including for persons belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, human rights defenders, intellectuals and lawyers".

Denmark highlighted UN reports of Tibetan children being "forcibly separated from their families" and reiterated its call on China to meet its obligations and work with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Switzerland recalls the findings of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and urges China to put an immediate end to human rights violations and to release all arbitrarily detained human rights defenders, particularly in Tibet.

The United Kingdom expressed "deep" concern about China's disregard for universal human rights and urged it to "reverse its oppressive policies in Tibet. The delegation also stressed its concern about the recent UN report that "one million Tibetan children have been forcibly separated from their families to assimilate them into the Han majority culture".

The United States of America, reiterating its "deep concern" about China's human rights violations and "genocide and crimes against humanity", urged the Human Rights Council to "maintain its focus" on China's atrocities in Tibet and other regions, and also asked the High Commissioner to "address" them. Similarly, the European Union, Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland, Norway, Japan, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden expressed "serious" and "deep" concern about human rights violations committed by China, including in Tibet.

In an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights defenders, UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlo said that China is a "disaster when it comes to human rights defenders". The special rapporteur also reported "shocking" cases of 15 human rights defenders imprisoned by China for more than 10 years. High Commissioner Volker Turk, in his first oral presentation of the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, announced that with regard to China, the Office has opened "channels of communication with a range of actors to follow up on various human rights issues," including the protection of Tibetans, Uyghurs and other groups.