China: UN rights chief voices concern over tensions in Tibet Autonomous Region

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

14 March 2008 – The top United Nations human rights official today voiced concern over the rising tensions between protesters and security forces in the Tibet Autonomous Region and surrounding areas of China, noting that there have been reports of deaths and property destruction.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour issued a statement calling on the Chinese authorities to allow demonstrators to exercise their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Ms. Arbour also called on the Chinese Government to “refrain from any excessive use of force while maintaining order, and to ensure those arrested are not ill-treated and are accorded due process in line with international standards.”

It has been reported that on 10 March, roughly 60 monks were arrested in Lhasa during a peaceful demonstration. The following day, Chinese police fired tear gas at some 600 monks who were demanding the release of the arrested monks. There have been further reports of violence today.


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