World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Experts denounce criminalization of cultural rights advocacy

China: UN experts denounce the criminalization of linguistic and cultural rights advocacy

GENEVA (21 February 2018) – UN human rights experts* expressed serious concern over the ruling by a Chinese court to uphold charges of “incitement to separatism” brought against a human rights activist who appeared in a documentary calling for linguistic and cultural rights in Tibet.

The experts said all of the charges levelled against Tashi Wangchuk over comments in an article and video documentary in the New York Times should be dropped.

In the November 2015 documentary, Mr. Wangchuk appealed for the Tibetan minority to receive education in their mother tongue, and highlighted the difficulties faced by the Tibetan minority in exercising their cultural rights.

Mr. Wangchuk was arrested on 27 January 2016, and has since been held in detention. On 4 January 2018, the Yushu Intermediate Court upheld the charges of “incitement to separatism” against Mr. Wangchuk, under article 103 section 2 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, which may lead to a prison sentence of more than 5 years.

“We condemn the continued detention of Mr. Wangchuk and the criminalization of his freedom of expression as well as his right to stand and speak up for what he perceives as human rights violations in his region and country,” the experts said.

“Free exchange of views about State policies, including criticism against policies and actions that appear to have a negative impact on the lives of people need to be protected and further encouraged,” they said, adding that people should not be prosecuted for human rights advocacy and the promotion of culture and language in the name of ‘national security’ and ‘public order’.

In November 2017, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention rendered Opinion 69/2017 concerning Mr. Wangchuk, according to which his deprivation of liberty, being in contravention of articles 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (1) and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is arbitrary and falls within categories I, II and III.

The experts further reminded the Chinese authorities of the right of persons belonging to minorities to use and promote their own culture and languages without restrictions, and without fear of reprisals or criminalization.

The video in which Mr. Wangchuk appeared, “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice”, was used by the Court as principal evidence for Mr. Wangchuk’s intention to “attack the Chinese Government”, “destroy the ethnic culture”, “conspire to undermine ethnic unity, the unification of the country, and the political and social stability of the Tibetan areas” and to “demonize China’s international image on the world stage”.

“We urge the Chinese authorities to release Mr. Wangchuk immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law,” the experts said.

The Yushu Intermediate Court’s decision on the sanction is pending since the January 2018 hearing.

The UN experts have notified the Government of China about their concerns.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Chemical Weapons Attack (and Response) In Syria

The past week’s headlines about the chemical attacks in Syria – and the military response by the US, France and Britain – have tended to overshadow a few of the downstream outcomes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Moves: China, Vanuatu And Australia

Washington’s vigilant deputy, doing rounds on the beat in the Pacific, has been irate of late. The central issue here is the continuing poking around of China in an area that would have been colloquially termed in the past “Australia’s neighbourhood”. More>>

ALSO:

Diplomatic Madness: The Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

How gloriously brave it seemed, some 23 nations coming together like a zombie collective to initiate a fairly ineffectual action in of itself: the expulsion of Russian diplomats or, as they preferred to term it, intelligence operatives. More>>

ALSO:


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC