Legal Materials on Tibet

Australian Senate Resolution on Tibet (1997) [p.293 (a)]


March 5, 1997


The Australian Senate passed the following resolution without dissent on Wednesday, March 5:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

(i) the arrest and incarceration of Tibetan Ngawang Choephel, a Fulbright Scholar, who was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment by the Chinese Government for allegedly spying while carrying out field research as an ethnomusicologist,

(ii) that Ngawang Choephel was denied access to legal representation, and that his family and friends have not been allowed to communicate with him since his arrest,

(iii) that Ngawang Choephel's whereabouts remain unknown; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) urgently raise the issue of Ngawang Choephel's arrest and incarceration with the Chinese Government,

(ii) reiterate Australia's concern about continuing human rights abuses in China, including Tibet,

(iii) reiterate Australia's belief that the distinct Tibetan culture, religious practices and ethnic heritage should be protected,

(iv) seek immediate information from the Chinese Government on Ngawang Choephel's whereabouts and well-being, and

(v) register Australia's concern about Ngawang Choephel's sentence.

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