On 3 June, ICT delivered an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the use of extrajudicial and summary executions in Tibet. As ICT does not have an official status at the UN, the statement was delivered under the name of France Libertés.
ICT’s director for government relations in Europe, Stewart Watters, delivered the oral statement in response to the report to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial and Summary Executions. ICT raised concerns about the shooting and killing of civilians by Chinese security forces in Tibet during the current crackdown, as well as the Chinese government’s lack of response to the UN on the killing of the 17 year old nun, Kelsang Namtso, at the Nangpa Pass in September 2006:
“Mr. President, we raise this question due to further deterioration of the human rights situation on the Tibetan Plateau with more than 200 Tibetans reported killed by Chinese security forces in the harsh military crackdown to suppress the predominantly peaceful protests over the past two months.”
“In the absence of independent monitors, what interventions has the Special Rapporteur undertaken with China, to seek clarifications on these numerous, carefully documented reports of Tibetan deaths?” the statement said.
The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial and Summary Executions is an independent expert appointed by the UN and is mandated to investigate cases and raise concerns directly with governments where there are credible reports of executions or use of lethal force by the state without due legal process. In particular, the Rapporteur is to “pay special attention to extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions where the victims are individuals who are carrying out peaceful activities in defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms” (UN resolution 1996/74).
The full text of the statement follows:
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
REPORT OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTRAJUDICIAL OR SUMMARY EXECUTIONS (Interactive Dialogue)
Oral statement by France Libertés, delivered by Stewart WATTERS.
While fully acknowledging Mr. Alston’s report, we remain concerned by situations where, as a result of repressive government policies, there is a total absence of independent monitors, human rights defender and/or independent civil society organizations. We are concerned by the extent to which such conditions enable acts of impunity by authoritarian regimes and that the ability of Inquiry Commissions to bring the perpetrators to justice is highly unlikely to be realized.
With regard to the 30 September 2006 killing of at least one Tibetan minor, a nun aged 17, by Chinese security forces at the Nangpa Pass on the Nepal border, the Special Rapporteur requested the Chinese authorities “to make sure that there is full public accountability for the actions of the State and of its border military patrols by ensuring that the result of your official investigation be made public.” We, therefore, wish to know what specific response the Special Rapporteur received from the Chinese authorities.
Mr. President, we raise this question due to further deterioration of the human rights situation on the Tibetan Plateau with more than 200 Tibetans reported killed by Chinese security forces in the harsh military crackdown to suppress the predominantly peaceful protests over the past two months. According to one report, on 28 March more than 80 bodies were burnt together at an electrical crematorium in one county under Lhasa Municipality. Other individuals report army trucks leaving Lhasa carrying scores of dead bodies.
The International Campaign for Tibet reports that Kirti Monastery in Sichuan Province has been surrounded by Chinese security forces since March 16 and the local community has not been allowed access after large public demonstrations were held there that resulted in mass detentions and the deaths of at least 10 Tibetans, including monks and three high school students. Images of those killed were broadcast by news media around the world. On April 3, government troops fired upon protestors from Tongkor (Chinese: Donggu) monastery 60 kilometers from Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) town, killing at least ten to 15 people, 3 of whom were monks, 6 were women and one was a child. We have reports of people being arrested, severely beaten and tortured, then being hastily released to their family to die at home from their injuries, out of police custody. On 28 May in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) county of Sichuan province, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy reports that security forces opened fire on a female Tibetan student staging a peaceful and solitary protest – she was later seen wounded and being dragged by security forces – we do not know her condition at this time.
These shocking reports have emerged at great individual risk from a Tibet under complete lockdown. Foreign diplomats, NGOs and media are still not allowed to travel freely to Tibet. In the absence of independent monitors, what interventions has the Special Rapporteur undertaken with China, to seek clarifications on these numerous, carefully documented reports of Tibetan deaths?
I thank you, Mr. President.
2 June, 2008