UN Rights Chief Urges China to Address Tibetan Grievances

Posted November 2nd, 2012 at 6:50 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations' top human rights official has urged China to address the many grievances in Tibetan areas that have led to a growing number of deadly protests.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement Friday that social stability in Tibet will never be achieved through heavy security measures and suppression of human rights.

Pillay said she is disturbed by continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights.

She also appealed to Tibetans to refrain from resorting to extreme forms of protest, such as self-immolation and urged religious leaders to use their influence to help stop the loss of human life.

Since February of 2009, at lest 62 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese policies in Tibet. In at least 50 cases, the protesters have died.

The large number of self-immolations has prompted Chinese officials to offer cash rewards to anyone who provides information on people planning to set themselves on fire.

China rejects the charges of religious and cultural repression, saying Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and benefit from Chinese investment in the region.