Today, the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council opened in Geneva, a session during which China’s UPR report will be adopted by the Human Rights Council.

In her opening speech the High Commissioner Ms. Navy Pillay did not specifically raise the issue of human rights violations in Tibet, as requested by over 5000 citizens from several countries, who signed an online petition promoted by the International Campaign for Tibet and the Australian Tibet Council.

“On March 19, member states will now have a great opportunity to question the Chinese governments’ policies in Tibet during this session of the UN Human Rights Council. In fact, while in 2012 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights raised specifically the issue of rights violations in Tibet, today we believe that an important opportunity was missed. In fact, the crackdown on religious freedom, freedom of speech and association continues unabated in Tibet, with even a new worrying trend of persecution and criminalization of family members of self-immolators. International condemnation of China’s failure to implement its obligations in the field of human rights is justified by facts on the ground. Moreover, it sends a message to Tibetans who are struggling for their dignity. It is therefore even more important for UN member states to raise this issue during this official UN session”, said Kai Mueller, Executive Director of ICT Germany.