Resolution adopted at the EGP Council, Ljubljana, 11-13 April 2008.
In Tibet on March 10th , the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibetan national uprising against the Chinese administration, protests broke out at three monasteries with Tibetan monks demonstrating peacefully against the Chinese occupation, the forced assimilation and the brutal and systematic political, social and cultural repression AND humiliation to which Tibet has been subjected by China. A high number of monks were arrested and the rest confined inside their monasteries.
As a result of this,on March 14 protests in the streets erupted into riots in Lhasa's old quarter with clashes between Tibetans and Han Chinese and acts of aggression against shopkeepers and the burning and looting of small shops. The Dalai Lama urged the demonstrators to protest peacefully and non-violently and reiterated his call for a resumption of negotiations with Beijing with a view to achieving the full and genuine political, cultural and spiritual autonomy of Tibet within China on the basis of the Chinese constitution.
Within 24 hours police officers and security forces cracked down on the demonstrators, gradually taking control of the riot areas and in the following days started searching Tibetan neighborhoods, dragging away and arresting suspects. According to the Chinese authorities 20 people died including a police officer; according to independent sources more than 140 people died in the clashes which extended to the bordering Tibetan-populated regions. Thousands have been arrested, a state of emergency has been declared by the Chinese government and shops as well as temples have been closed in Lhasa and other cities while hundreds of paramilitary police officers and army troops moved to Tibet from the rest of China.
Moreover, foreign journalists have been denied access to Tibet and blocked from reaching neighbouring regions with large Tibetan population. Foreign reporters who managed to get into Tibet after the riots were forced to leave, contradicting the Chinese government's pledge to grant foreign journalists freedom of movement all over China and greater press freedom in the run-up to the Olympic Games.
The Chinese government is blocking foreign websites inside China and censoring foreign television broadcasts about the situation in Tibet. At the same time Chinese authorities accused foreign media of misrepresenting the events , and themselves only showed footage of attacks on ethnic Hans by Tibetans and started a nationalist anti-Tibetan campaign.
On the Beijing Olympic Games 2008
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that with the decision to award Beijing the 2008 Summer Olympics it expected that the country would open up and improve the human rights situation.
In reality, the Chinese government has started investigating the political views of Olympic athletes.
Every effort should be made in order to take advantage of the Olympic Games in Beijing and use them as an extraordinary opportunity to bring about democratic reforms in China and make significant progress as regards the question of Tibet as well as ethnic minorities in other parts of China, and human rights, freedom of expression and media freedom in all other parts of China.
Sports and Politics ARE intertwined
The IOC is supposed to be a worldwide active civil society organization with sporting as well as social responsibilities. The IOC had a praiseworthy initiative at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony was lit by an Aborigine, the athlete Cathy Freeman.
The human rights situation in China, however, has shown only little improvement which has been halted and even abandoned this year as proved, for instance, by the five-year prison sentence on 24 March 2008 of human rights activist Yang Chunlin who was charged with subverting the power of the state for circulating an open letter titled "We want Human Rights, not the Olympics”.
EU-China Human Rights Dialogue needs to have tangible results
The EU-China Human Rights Dialogue established in 2000 has achieved so far no tangible results. This lack of results is not only due to China’s unwillingness but is also the consequence of an uncoordinated and ineffective EU common foreign policy towards China. This has recently been proven by the 27 EU-Ministers of Foreign Affairs who met on 29 March in Brdo, Slovenia, for informal meeting (Gymnich) and discussed the situation in Tibet without adopting any significant and substantial measure vis-a-vis the ongoing Chinese repression against the Tibetan population.
Therefore the European Green Party, gathered at its 8th Council Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia,
1. strongly condemns all acts of violence that took place in the streets of Lhasa and in Tibet and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of all the victims;
To the Chinese authorities:
2. firmly condemns the brutal repression by the Chinese security forces of Tibetan demonstrators and expresses its deep concern about the policy of assimilation of the People's Republic of China for Tibet as well as for other minorities like the Uyghurs;
3. calls for an independent international inquiry –under the auspices of the United Nations– into the tragic events and urges the Chinese authorities to grant foreign reporters full access to Tibet and the bordering regions, allowing them to do their job freely;
4. expresses its deep concern at the wave of arrests that took place after the demonstrations with over 400 people jailed in Lhasa and calls for the immediate release of all those who protested peacefully exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression; and demands that all those charged with violence will receive just and fair judicial treatment, without any form of threat or torture;
5. regrets that the six rounds of talks between the Beijing authorities and the representatives of the Dalai Lama were inconclusive, and supports the Dalai Lama's call for a resumption of negotiations between the two sides with a view to achieving the full and genuine political, cultural and spiritual autonomy of Tibet within China. The EGP also expects the negotiations to be brought back on tracks BEFORE the Olympic Games, with clear progress visible and tangible in and around the next EU-China-Human Rights Dialogue and calls on the Chinese authorities to invite the Dalai Lama to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games as a sign of good will;
6. calls on China to respect its commitments to human and minority rights and the rule of law; urges China not to abuse the 2008 Olympic Games by arresting dissidents, journalists and human rights activists in order to prevent embarrassing demonstrations and reports;
7. calls on the People's Republic of China to allow injured Tibetans to receive adequate medical attention and arrested Tibetans to receive legal assistance;
8. calls upon China to allow an independent body to have access to Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama of Tibet, and his parents, as requested by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and to stop interfering with religious affairs;
9. deplores that despite the IOC's and the world community's expectations, the People's Republic of China, nevertheless, continues to commit serious human and minority rights violations;
10. calls on the Chinese authorities to issue a standing invitation to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the UN mechanisms to visit Tibet;
11. calls on the People's Republic of China in the framework of its Human Rights Dialogue with the European Union to allow an EU-delegation to enter Tibet in order to get an objective picture, and urges the European Commission, in this regard, to take the initiative;
12. urges the People's Republic of China to stop scrutinizing and judging Olympic athletes in relation to their political views and considering banning them from the Olympic Games if they dissent from the Chinese government's official position;
13. urges China to ratify without any further delay and in any case before the Olympic Games the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
To the EU and its Member States:
14. demands that the European Council appoints a Special Envoy for Tibetan Isues in order to facilitate the dialogue between the parties and closely follow the negotiations once they are resumed;
15. regrets the lack of a coordinated and coherent European policy towards China that has been marked so far by a wild competition among EU leaders whose only interest was to sign lucrative contracts with the Chinese authorities at the expense of human rights;
16. also regrets the lack of coherent economic policy, defined by European political and business leaders, including Corporate Social Responsibility as well as political, social and ecological standards, towards China;
17. furthermore calls on political leaders of the EU and its Member States not to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in the case that no progress is made in regard to the Tibetan question and to the overall human rights situation in China; furthermore, if that is the case, the European Union and the Member States need to seriously consider further common actions vis-à-vis the People's Republic of China, such as reassessing the strategic partnership with China;
18. Calls on the European broadcasting stations to stop broadcasting of Olympic events In case of censoring TV sequences by the Chinese autorities
To the IOC and National Olympic Committees:
19. demands that the respect for human rights in the future will be one of the criteria – besides ecological criteria – for the eligibility of the venue of the Olympic games and that respect or human rights is made an issue for Olympic Games, the site of which is already decided
20. demands that athletes are given the right to express their opinions on human rights in China and elsewhere without such expressions being seen as a violation of the Olympic Reglementations. This should include the right of athletes and officials to show solidarity with Tibetans and other oppressed minorities in a visible way, for example by wearing an orange ribbon or the “white scarf” which in Tibetan culture is given to friends as way of showing solidarity;
21. calls on the IOC and NOCs to offer athletes and officials the opportunity to participate in workshops on topics like human rights, with national and international experts, in the countries the Games are being held so athletes and officials are able to get first-hand information and can, if they wish to do so, devise appropriate activities in this field; this should already be applied before the Beijing Olympics;
To EGP member parties:
to forward these demands to their national governments and their National Olympic Committees, asking them to react in due time regarding what their actions will be.
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