Promoting Human Rights, Democracy and Freedom in East Turkestan, Tibet, Southern Mongolia and the People´s Republic of China

WUC-UNPO-GfbV, 13 March 2013

The international conference on “China’s New Leadership: Challenges for Human Rights, Democracy and Freedom in East Turkestan, Tibet and Southern Mongolia” held in Geneva, Switzerland, 11-13 March, 2013, issues the following Declaration:

Experts and organizations promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms for the peoples of East Turkestan, Tibet and Southern Mongolia, as well as Chinese democracy activists and human rights defenders, met during the past few days in a spirit of openness and common commitment to support the implementation of international human rights standards norms by the People´s Republic of China.

Participants reflected on the current situation that they are all “travelers in the same sea”. At the same time, all recognized that Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians must reclaim its own history, defend its right to cultural survival and urgently establish institutions to preserve its existence as a distinct indigenous people, and confidently speak for its own aspirations for dignity, peace and freedom.
Participants vividly bore witness to the worsening situation in East Turkestan, Tibet and Southern Mongolia since 2008, especially

aggressive use of Anti-Terrorism measures in East Turkestan and Tibet

the dramatic intensification of the police-state measures of the current ‘stability maintenance’ system in these areas, with its intrusive surveillance and brutal repression of dissent, peaceful expressions and peaceful assembly

military-occupation-style checkpoints and night-time house-to-house raids

political executions, extrajudicial killings, custodial deaths, large-scale enforced disappearances,  arbitrary detention of young men and increased number of political prisoners in East Turkestan and Tibet
forced eviction of nomads into ‘Socialist Villages’ in Tibet and Southern Mongolia

military occupation of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, nunneries and religious institutions, including after self-immolation protests by Tibetans.

In addition to the continuing grave human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials, China’s assimilationist education and employment policies themselves contain elements of cultural genocide.

Today the policy of population transfer of Chinese settlers is one of the biggest threats to the very survival of the religious, cultural and national identity of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians.

The conference discussed the increasing harshness of China’s policies and the government’s failure to recognize that these policies are:

causing unconscionable suffering for Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians in their homelands

contrary to the policy of fostering a ‘harmonious society’,  ethnic tensions and grievances are increasing.

The conference condemned the policies causing untold suffering by Chinese, Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians, and pledged to renew their efforts to build a common ground to act on short-term and long-term strategies that will address current totally unacceptable situation.  They strongly agreed that such actions should follow parallel tracks, endorsing the idea that each people should work on its own behalf, as well as with others through joint initiatives, and in cooperation with international friends and supporters.

The conference participants discussed the international legal right to self-determination, and debated multiple points of view about the relationship between the democratization of China and the future of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians whose homelands are currently in present-day of China.

The conference called upon the international community and the United Nations human rights mechanisms to hold the government of China accountable for its systematic suppression of the rights of its citizens.
The conference calls upon ‘Community of Democracies’ to ensure that human rights remain an important component in bilateral and multilateral dialogues.

The conference participants urged Chinese, Uyghurs and Mongolians to take up the open invitation extended by Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile to visit Dharamsala, India to study the experience of plus 50 years Tibetan effort to develop democratic institutions in exile, and to further build collaborative relationships with various Tibetan organizations.

Finally, the conference while taking note of a growing number of Chinese who understand the suffering of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians, agreed that more outreach to the Chinese people is crucial.

World Uyghur Congress
Society for Threatened Peoples
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization