Members of the European Parliament (MEP) on Tuesday, November 17 asked the European Union (EU) to take stern action against China for the human rights violations in Xinjiang province and compel Beijing to respect its international obligations. As per reports, the parliamentarians have also condemned coercive labour programmes in Tibet which violate the fundamental rights of Tibetans.
The MEPs in a statement issued on Tuesday asked "does the EU condemn these coercive labour programmes, which violate the fundamental rights of Tibetans - including their right to freedom of movement and to their own livelihood?" and, in the framework of the EU China Human Rights Dialogue, "what measures does the EU intend to take in order to push China to respect its international human rights obligations?"
The MEPs also inquired to know if the EU intends to adopt targeted sanctions (visa bans, asset freezes etc.) against individuals responsible for the establishment of coercive labour programmes in Tibet. Adding further the parliamentarians in the statement said that the European Commission has received various questions recently over China's oppressive policies towards minority communities in the country.
The statement from the parliamentarians came after the Washington, DC-based institute Jamestown Foundation released a report in September revealing China's large-scale programme of coercive labour in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The reports disclosed how the Tibet Autonomous Region in 2019 and 2020, introduced new policies to promote systematic, centralised and large-scale training and to relocate redundant rural workers to other parts of the territory.
Further, this year the Jamestown Foundation report, claimed that in the first half of 2020 over half a million farmers and shepherds, of the Tibetan population, had been enrolled in military training centres.
Reacting to the reports, the MEPs said that these acts of coercion and indoctrination clearly endanger the cultural, linguistic, and spiritual heritage of the Tibetan minority and constitute human rights' violations.
The MEPs, in their statement, have asked three pointed questions; the first being "how does the Vice-President/ High Representative intend to take action to protect the rights of the Tibetan people?" which they followed with "will he take into account, in future negotiations with the People's Republic of China, the forced assimilation campaign in so-called re-education camps that is used against ethnolinguistic minorities?"
In their last question, the MEPs asked the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy if he will "continue negotiations with those parties that do not observe democratic and human principles?" These questions follow similar concerns raised by other parliamentarians about China's oppressive policies towards Tibetans.
Meanwhile, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is expected to reply in the coming weeks, the release added.
(With ANI inputs and image)