UN urges China to act with restraint in Tibet

March 15th, 2008 - 12:31 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 15 (IANS) The UN has called on Beijing to refrain from excessive use of force while maintaining order in Tibet, even as China warned of using a firm hand to quell the violent protests in the region. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour Friday voiced concern over the rising tensions between anti-Chinese protesters and security forces in the Tibet Autonomous Region and surrounding areas of China.

She issued a statement calling on the Chinese authorities to allow demonstrators to exercise their right to freedom of expression and assembly. She also urged the government “to ensure those arrested are not ill-treated and are accorded due process in line with international standards”.

Violence in Tibet has been on the rise since March 10, when around 60 monks were arrested in Lhasa during a peaceful demonstration. The following day, Chinese police fired tear gas at nearly 600 monks who were demanding the release of their arrested comrades. Reports of escalating violence came Friday.

US President George W. Bush has also called upon the Chinese government to have a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama on his part called on China to “stop using force” and rejected allegations that he and his government-in-exile in India were behind the uprising in Lhasa.

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