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HRC-12thSpecialSessionDharamshala: - Over five countries including the US, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and the UK, on Tuesday issued statements at the ongoing 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, urging China to respect human rights in Tibet.

The European Union in its statement expressed concerns about reports of ongoing use of force against peaceful protests, especially in Tibetan-inhabited areas and Xinjiang as well as the widespread exercise of capital punishment in China. It urged the Chinese government to respect the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, and rights of persons belonging to minorities in China.

The US stated that China increased internet controls, press censorship; and limits religious freedom, particularly in Tibetan and Uighur areas. It also highlighted the increasing incidents of arrests, enforced disappearances and extra legal detentions of public interest lawyers, activists, journalists, and religious leaders in China.

Germany called on China to address the deep-rooted causes of the ongoing self-immolations in a peaceful manner, respecting cultural and religious rights of Tibetans. It also urged China to facilitate a visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Tibet to investigate the ground realities in Tibet.

The United Kingdom urged China to ensure the constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of assembly and demonstration are fully protected in China, including in ethnic minority areas. The Chinese delegation pledged to guarantee the lawful rights and interest of ethnic minorities as part of its bid for re-election to the Human Rights Council, the statement said.

"In the run up to the ongoing UNHRC session, the representative at the Office of Tibet in Geneva, Mr Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, made representations to diplomats of 15 countries, the UN and the EU," the Tibetan Central Administration media 'Tibet Net" has reported.

China, speaking in a right of reply, said that the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and some non-governmental organizations had made groundless, politically-motivated accusations against China.

The Chinese Constitution fully guaranteed the freedom of expression but also required its citizens to abide by the law. China took an open and transparent approach to drafting its Universal Periodic Review report, in which it sought the collaboration of non-governmental organizations.

The rights of ethnic minorities were also respected and guaranteed. The violent, criminal activities in Tibet had been instigated by separatists and had clear political motives. China had to act in order to protect the interests of the people.

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