Amsterdam – The International Campaign for Tibet Europe welcomes the European Union Presidency’s statement on the execution of Lobsang Dhondup and the case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, issued yesterday. However, ICT-Europe urges the EU keep up its pressure on China over the coming months.

“It is rare that the EU issues a unified statement concerning the deteriorating situation in Tibet,” said Ms Tsering Jampa, Executive Director ICT-Europe. “However, the coming months will show just how serious the EU is about human rights in China and Tibet”.

In its statement, the EU criticizes China for its lack of due process in the trial of the Lobsang Dhondup and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, and its use of the death penalty, especially in a case where China failed to uphold internationally recognised legal standards. In December 2002, the European Parliament passed a resolution highlighting its concern for the two defendants. Despite this, China failed in its promise to keep the EU and other governments updated on the case.

“In light of this recent regrettable event, the EU must seriously consider the effectiveness of its bilaterial human rights dialogue process with China,” Ms Jampa said. “Ever since its inception, no tangible results have been achieved. As such, one can only conclude that the process is completely ineffectual,” she added.

With the 59th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights just weeks away, ICT-Europe also calls on the EU to issue a strong resolution condemning China’s appalling human rights record, and its repression of Tibetans in particular.

“The case of Lobsang Dhondup is a direct result of the international community’s leniency on China’s deteriorating human rights record. Taking action against China at this forum, where the whole world focuses its attention on human rights, will send a strong signal to the Chinese leadership,” said Jampa.