Lawyers for Tibet Challenge China's White Paper on Human Rights
April 10, 2001
Contact: Minnie Cancellaro International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet
International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet has challenged the accuracy of China's newest white paper on human rights. The white paper, entitled "Progress in China's Human Rights Cause in 2000," claims to show improvements in children's rights, political rights and the rights of ethnic minorities in China.
"The Chinese Government has abandoned most Tibetan children," said Dennis Cusack, President of Lawyers for Tibet. "Listen to a Tibetan child describe how she was thrown into a frozen prison cell and tortured because she could not get an education in Tibet and tried to leave. Look at the emaciated and stunted limbs of the more than half of Tibetan children suffering right now from malnutrition.The White Paper is simply not credible."
A recent report by Lawyers for Tibet found that Tibetan children in Chinese-occupied Tibet suffer torture and detention for even minor "political" offenses. Children are detained in deplorable conditions, often without notice to their families, and held for months or even years without a trial or access to a lawyer. Most Tibetan children also lack access to an education because of the absence of schools and teachers, and high fees. Those that can afford the high school fees find a curriculum geared toward Chinese cultural assimilation. Access to healthcare for Tibetan families, especially in rural areas, is severely limited and the infant mortality rate for Tibetans triple the national average for China.
China released its white paper on human rights as the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva prepares to discuss China's human rights record later this month. "The white paper has not been written in the spirit of international cooperation, but rather of international manipulation," said Cusack. "We hope the Human Rights Commission will see past these erroneous claims and follow through with a resolution condemning China's atrocities in Tibet."
The U.N. Commission on Human Rights annual session begins on March 19th.
A vote on the resolution is expected on April 18.