Greetings for the Tibet convention

Dear participants of the 5th world parliamentarians’ convention on Tibet,

I send you my warmest greetings. I’ve been myself working for the cause of Tibet for twenty years and have had the privilege to host His Holiness on several occasion both in Finland and in the European Parliament. Now in my new capacity as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights I can continue with more opportunities to help to improve the situation in Tibet. [:]

By the Parliament of Tibet in Exile I have been informed about the numbers of gross violations of human rights , including executions and disappearances of Tibetans, in the aftermath of the events of 10 March 2008. It is necessary to have an independent internationtional investigation to them. I take it with great concern that according to my knowledge 371 judgments have been passed in procedures which do not meet the standards of a free and fair trial. I am most shocked about the four executions on 20 October 2009 and two more pending execution orders.

I am also worried about new regulations on Religious Affairs which applies to the whole of China. This legislation is in violation of the principle of freedom of religion as it gives the Communist party and the government supremacy over religious practice and teachings.

The persecution and repression of Tibetans have a special character since it endangers the whole existence of the nation and culture. However, it is important to realize that the answer to those threats lies within the potential changes towards democracy of China in its entirety.

I will do my utmost to contribute to a change to the present EU-China human rights dialogues which do not improve the situation of human rights in Tibet. The European Union must finally take its own human rights commitments seriously and raise the issues into the centre of the following EU-China summit to be held on 30 November.

Brussels, 18 November, 2009

Heidi Hautala MEP (Finland)

Chairwoman of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament