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Thursday, 26 October 2006 - Strasbourg

European Parliament resolution on Tibet

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Tibet and the human rights situation in China,

–   having regard to its resolution of 7 September 2006 on EU-China relations(1),

–   having regard to the lack of progress in the EU-China human rights dialogue,

–   having regard to the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held in Havana, Cuba between 27 August and 7 September 1990,

–   having regard to the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–   having regard to the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas on 30 September 2006 more than 70 Tibetans were attempting to cross the glaciated Nangpa Pass in the Himalayan region of Tibet, approximately two hours" walk from the Nepalese border, in order to seek refugee status in Nepal,

B.   whereas against the rule of international law the Chinese People's Armed Police Force (PAP) fired upon those unarmed Tibetan civilians, who included women and children; whereas video and photographic evidence of the incident shows that the Tibetan group was moving slowly away from the Chinese forces firing upon them, did not approach the Chinese forces and did not represent a threat to the Chinese forces,

C.   whereas Kelsang Namtso, a seventeen-year-old nun, was killed during the shooting by the Chinese PAP; whereas there are unconfirmed eyewitness accounts of more than one death; whereas a group of Tibetans, including children, were arrested after continuing to flee,

D.   whereas the Chinese State News Agency, Xinhua, has reported an incident in the region as "self-defence" despite video and photographic evidence to the contrary; whereas the Chinese authorities have thus far not officially recognised that the incident at Nangpa Pass took place or that any individual was killed by Chinese forces,

E.   whereas since September 2002 formal contacts have been re-established between the Chinese authorities and the representatives of the Dalai Lama in order to restore mutual trust and confidence,

F.   whereas, despite these contacts and the importance attached to the meetings by the central Chinese authorities, there have been frequent cases over the past years of abuses and violations of human rights perpetrated against the Tibetan population, and in particular against Tibetan monks,

1.  Condemns the excessive use of force by the Chinese People's Armed Police Force in firing upon unarmed Tibetan civilians, including children;

2.  Strongly condemns the killing of an unarmed civilian who, being under 18 years of age, was also considered a child under international law;

3.  Expresses its dismay at the imprisonment of Tibetan civilians, nine of whom are children;

4.  Urges the Chinese authorities to guarantee that the Tibetans detained during the incident will not be ill-treated in detention and that international human rights and humanitarian law standards are being respected;

5.  Urges the Chinese authorities to release immediately all children detained following the incident;

6.  Urges the Chinese authorities to conduct a full investigation into the events at Nangpa Pass and ensure that those responsible for any crimes committed there are brought to justice;

7.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to monitor closely, through their representations in Nepal, the situation of those Tibetans from the group who have reached Nepal and to make strong representations to the Chinese authorities on this issue within the framework of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue;

8.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to reiterate their position that only dialogue between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama can contribute to a peaceful and sustainable settlement for Tibet that both sides agree upon;

9.  Calls on the Government of the People's Republic of China to continue its dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama in order to improve respect for religious, cultural, linguistic and political rights in the Tibet Autonomous Region;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General and the Government of the People's Republic of China.

(1) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0346.

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