Human Rights Council
Forty-Ninth Regular Session
March 8, 2022

Statement delivered by Vincent Metten on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Mr. President,

We are deeply concerned by the impact of the High Commissioner for human right’s failure to release a report on grave violations in the Uyghur region on the credibility of her Office. We call on the High Commissioner to release the report.

We would also like to express our disappointment about the High Commissioner’s silence on the worsening human rights situation inside Tibet.

We remind the council that in 2021, for the second year in a row, Freedom House ranked Tibet the least-free region in the world.

Under Chinese rule, Tibetan peoples’ right to freely express their opinion, associate and assemble, and practice their religion continues to be severely limited. For voicing basic concerns about social and environmental issues, they are regularly arbitrarily detained, subjected to torture, denied due process, and face risk of death due to mistreatment in custody. The recent cases of Go Sherab Gyatso and Rinchen Tsultrim exemplify this experience.

Given this deteriorating situation and efforts by the Communist Party to render Tibetan grievances invisible, silence by the Council only rewards and normalizes such repressive methods. It signals to China that it is on track to decimate Tibetan culture with little international resistance.

We therefore call for prompt, unfettered and independent access to all parts of the People’s Republic of China, in particular Tibetan areas, by independent international human rights experts. In the absence of access, we urge the High Commissioner’s Office to adopt “remote reporting” measures on Tibet.

Thank you.