Target: Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Goal: Pressure China to respect human rights and civil liberties in Tibet.
Since China’s invasion of Tibet in 1949, the Chinese government has been a constant source oppression for the Tibetan people. China’s policy toward Tibet has been marked by curtailment of civil liberties and religious freedom, suppression of the native culture, and violent crackdowns against dissent and public protest. The international Free Tibet campaign estimates that Chinese policies have led to the deaths of a million Tibetans, and that another million Tibetan herders have had their traditional grazing lands usurped by Chinese colonizers.
The forceful occupation of Tibet is an enormous black mark on China’s human rights record, and is one of the most brutal examples of ongoing oppression in a major world economy. Yet, ironically, China is currently seeking a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council. No country that uses oppressive policies like those pursued by China in Tibet should be allowed on this important body.
The UN Human Rights Council is composed of representatives from 47 nations, who are elected by the United Nations General Assembly and serve for limited terms. To win a seat on the Council, a nation needs 97 votes from the General Assembly. A good record of protecting human rights at home is supposed to be a criterion for election the Council, and China clearly does not meet this standard.
By refusing to give China a place on the Human Rights Council until the oppression in Tibet is stopped, UN members can show that the Chinese government’s cruel and heavy-handed policies will not be condoned by the international community. Sign the petition below to voice your opposition to giving China a seat on the Human Rights Council.
Dear Navanethem Pillay,
We, the undersigned, are writing to urge the UN General Assembly to reject China’s bid for a seat on the Human Rights Council, based on the Chinese government’s abysmal human rights record in Tibet. For more than half a century, the Tibetan people have suffered under Chinese rule, being denied the rights to self-determination, freedom of speech and religion, and preservation of their cultural heritage. No country that enforces such policies should have a place on the Human Rights Council.
The UN should send a strong message that China will not be accepted on the Human Rights Council, until the rights of the Tibetan people are recognized in full. We urge all members of the UN General Assembly to oppose giving China a place on the Council.
[Your Name Here]
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