March 14, 2017
Mr Ngawang Choephel, former UNPO President, moderator and panelist of the side-event, with Mr Vincent Metten of ICT at the Tibet Briefing at the UN, 10.3.2017, Photo courtesy of Tibet.net
During a Tibet briefing held on the sidelines of the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 10 March 2017, a Chinese diplomat unsuccessfully tried to confiscate a Tibetan participant’s video and photographic coverage of the briefing. As the briefing, officially titled “Human Rights in China”, touched on the important issue of Larung Gar, as well as on the historical significance of the Tibetan National Uprising Day of 10 March, the Chinese diplomat seemed agitated when she saw that a Tibetan participant was recording the briefing on video and photograph. Towards the conclusion of the briefing, she approached the participant with UN Security personnel, asking for the recorded material to be “confiscated” or “deleted”, but the security personnel refused to cooperate as they enlightened the diplomat as to the fact that the briefing was a public event and, therefore, the participant could do as he pleases. This is a perhaps entertaining illustration of both China’s continuous effort to undermine Tibet’s struggle for freedom and human rights, as well as the Chinese government’s strict censorship policies. Moderator of the event was Mr Ngawang Choephel, Tibet representative at the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and former UNPO President (2010-2015).
Below is an article by the Central Tibetan Administration:
Geneva, 10 March: A Chinese diplomat’s attempt to undermine a Tibet Briefing on the sidelines of the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council this afternoon failed as the UN Security refused to take any action.
The briefing officially titled, “Human Rights in China” by the Council Secretariat was organized the Society for Threatened Peoples, an NGO in Consultative Status to UN, based in Germany at request of the Tibet Bureau in Geneva.
Mr. Vincent Metten, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) Brussels and Mr. Kai Müller, ICT Germany were the invited as speakers, unfortunately Mr. Kai Muller could not attend due to flight problem in Berlin.
The briefing, “Human Rights in Tibet-2016” began with a brief introduction by the moderator Mr. Ngawang Choephel who also touched upon the historical importance of the Tibetan National Uprising Day of 10 March, in the history of Tibet.
The event thereafter screened HBO’s recent TV reportage that concludes with an interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Mr. John Oliver, the host of “Last Week Tonight”.
Mr. Metten presented an overview of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue.
The moderator briefly touched about the human rights situation inside Tibet, including the situation that confronts Larung Gar, a case which has been addressed by six UN Special Procedure Mandate-holders. In the conclusion, video reportage compiled on Larung Gar’s situation by the Central Tibetan Administration was screened.
Due to time constraints the event concluded without questions and answers part. The briefing was attended by diplomats, including two from the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China, UN officials and NGOs.
The Chinese diplomat, a lady, seemed outraged that a Tibetan participant was covering the briefing on video and photograph inside the room. As the briefing concluded, she brought a UN Security personnel aiming for the video and photograph contents to be “confiscated” or “deleted.” Not knowing the rules, she even claimed that only the media had the right to cover the event.
In the end, the UN Security personnel told the Chinese diplomat that the event was a “public meeting” and said that it was the organizers right to use the time to their liking and finally she left without fulfilling her attempt in front of other participants.
– Report filed by Office of Tibet, Geneva –