Amsterdam: The European Union has raised the shooting of Tibetans at the Nangpa Pass with their Chinese counterparts during the EU-China human rights dialogue in Beijing on 19 October. A press release by the Finnish government, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, stated that the EU had called for ‘clarification’ of the shootings at Nangpa Pass on 30 September and ‘urged China to investigate the incident thoroughly’. No details have yet emerged as to the Chinese response to the EU’s concerns.
ICT Europe has kept the Finnish government, European Union officials and the European Parliament fully updated on the events at Nangpa Pass, where Chinese border patrols fired on group of unarmed Tibetans attempting to cross the Nangpa Pass into exile in Nepal. During the shooting, a 17 year old nun, Kelsang Namtso, was killed and unconfirmed reports indicate as many as seven more Tibetans were killed.
The EU’s visit to China also included discussions on racism, freedom of expression and reform of the criminal justice system in China. The European Union also discussed China’s commitment to ratify the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and reform of the criminal justice system, including the rapid abolishment of the re-education through labour system.
The EU also expressed its deep concern over the continuing restrictions on freedom of expression in China, including on the use of the internet.
The full text of the release follows:
EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights
Press release 423/2006
20 October, 2006
The European Union and China held the 22nd round of the EU-China dialogue on human rights in Beijing on 19 October 2006. The dialogue was preceded by a legal seminar on 16-17 October, where labour rights and freedom of access to information were the main topics. At this seminar, Chinese and European academics agreed on joint recommendations that were addressed in the official dialogue.
During the dialogue meeting, senior officials from both sides discussed a wide range of human rights issues. Special attention was given to questions related to combating racism, freedom of expression and reform of the criminal justice system in China.
The European Union took note of the commitment of China to ratify the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as soon as possible and, in that context, to reform its criminal justice system. The EU urged China to continue the cooperation with, and implementation of the recommendations of, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, including the rapid abolishment of the re-education through labour system.
The EU expressed its deep concern over the continuing restrictions on freedom of expression in China, including on the use of the internet. The EU further expressed concern on the high number of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists in prison and urged China not to harass or punish individuals exercising their right to freedom of expression in a peaceful manner.
Other subjects discussed included the recent incident on China’s border with Nepal, where Chinese soldiers opened fire towards a group of Tibetans attempting to cross the border. The EU asked for clarification and urged China to investigate the incident thoroughly.
The next round of the dialogue will take place under the German EU Presidency in spring 2007.