The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy is the largest gathering of dissidents and former political prisoners at the seat of the UN Human Rights Council.


resistance growing in Tibet in her role as Foreign Minister.
She focused on the phenomena of self-immolation stating:
Since February 2009, 102 Tibetan men and women across all age groups and members of society
self-immolated in a final act of protest that could not be silenced by the Chinese Democratic Party.
She quoted from the suicide notes of an 18-year-old student Nangdrol: “the pain of not enjoying any basic
human rights is far greater than the pain from self-immolation.”
“China’s reaction to self immolation has been further repression”, criminalizing this harrowing act of
She added:
“China wants Tibet but not Tibetans.”
“The issue of China and Tibet is not a problem between the Chinese and Tibetan people. It is between the
Chinese government and the Tibet people.”
“We firmly believe one can be a friend of China and care about Tibet.”
On moving forward she stated:
“Unfortunately, China is now devoid of any moral authority in how it’s handling the issue of Tibet. We
must hold China accountable as a member of the United Nations.”
She pleaded that the dialogue between the Tibet and Chinese administrations be restored.
“We have to hold this discourse beyond classrooms and meeting rooms and show that nonviolence does
pay in the end.”
She concluded: “Tibet is being reduced to a Disney world, a façade, a tourist attraction. We are fighting
for our right to exist as a people.”
Randa Kassis spoke of the plight of civilians in today’s Syrian conflict:
“There is a pro-regime group and an anti-regime group and both sides are quit rigid. Neither side is
thinking of civilians: civilians will always lose.”
She blamed the spread of fundamentalist and extremist religious beliefs for the strength in Assad’s regime.
She added:
“When we wish to defend civil society we need to adopt the idea of a secular society that can provide
protection for many minorities. This is the only way they can protect themselves.”
“There have been 70,000 victims so far and as the revolt continues the numbers will sky rocket. The
military solution is not a genuine solution. There is only one outcome: to adopt a political solution.”
“The international community must commit itself to the civilian population and begin negotiations to
arrive at a compromise between the major players in the region.”
Regis Iglesias spoke of the painful memories of his 18-year jail sentence on anti-State charges. He,
alongside 75 other activists, was held in captivity in overcrowded, sweltering jail cells:



page : 12