In a strong show of support for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on the eve of the International Day of Action for the imprisoned Tibetan monk, the European Parliament has adopted a joint resolution calling for the Chinese government to” immediately commute the death sentence handed down to Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche”. The resolution was supported by 99 of the 108 attending parliamentarians. This is the second such resolution passed in the European Parliament in the last 3 months.
The resolution went on to urge China to “stop its continued violation of the human rights of the Tibetan people and other minorities and to ensure that international standards of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as religious rights, are respected by it”, as well calling on China to increase its involvement in the dialogue process with the representatives of the Dalai Lama.
The European Parliament also once again reiterated its support for the retention of the EU arms embargo on China until China has proven its commitment to human rights. This comes just days after British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stated that “it is more likely than not” that the EU ban will be lifted within the next six months. In November 2004, MEPs voted overwhelmingly against lifting the ban, a position supported by all the major political parties in the Parliament.
The full text of the resolution follows:
Human Rights Situation in Tibet: Joint motion for a resolution on Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche – Tibet
Doc. :B6-0037/2005, B6-0043/2005, B6-0047/2005, B6-0050/2005, B6-0051/2005, B6-0056/2005
Debate/Vote : 13.01.2005
Parliament adopted a joint resolution with 99 votes in favour, 2 against with 7 abstentions reiterating their support for the rule of law and urges the Chinese government to immediately commute the death sentence handed down to Tenzin Deleg RINPOCHE. The House affirms its call for the abolition of the death penalty and an immediate moratorium on capital punishment in China. Parliament welcomes the statement of the Chinese authorities according to which anyone who is sentenced to death with a suspension of execution and commits no intentional crime during the period of suspension shall have their punishment commuted to life imprisonment on the expiration of the two-year period. MEPs call on the Chinese judicial authorities to put this statement into practice through an official ruling. The House calls once more on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to stop its continued violation of the human rights of the Tibetan people and other minorities and to ensure that international standards of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as religious rights, are respected by it. Parliament calls on the Council and the Member States to maintain the EU embargo on trade in arms with the People’s Republic of China and not to weaken the existing national limitations on such arms sales. The House considers that this embargo should be maintained until such time as the EU has adopted a legally binding Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and the People’s Republic of China has taken concrete steps towards improving the human rights situation, inter alia by ratifying the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and by fully respecting the rights of minorities.
Finally, MEPs call on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to step up the ongoing dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama so as to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibet issue without further delay.