DHARAMSALA, Oct 17: In his first media briefing, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, the new United Nations high commissioner for human rights on Thursday said he is in talks with Chinese authorities about a trip to Tibet.
In the past six years more than 130 Tibetans have commited self-immolation in protest against repressive Chinese rule in Tibet and calling for the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has been in exile in India since 1959 following a failed Tibetan uprising.
China agreed in principle to allow UN rights chief to visit the country, including Tibet during a periodical review last year at the UN Human Rights Council.
“China in its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) agreed to the recommendation that there be a visit by the High Commissioner to Tibet. So we are discussing this issue with the Chinese authorities,” Zeid said.
“In the initial dialogue, we spoke of a multi-day visit, so I suspect that I would move around if indeed we are able to get the visit in place soon,” said the new UN rights chief hinting that he might visit other regions of concern such as Xinjiang (East Turkistan), home of the Uighur muslims where there has been an escation in violence in recent years due to Beijing’s hardline rule.