Friday, March 9, 2007

News: Austria accused over Tibet training

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21498,21345307-5005361,00.html?from=public_rss
From correspondents in Vienna
March 08, 2007 03:21am

Here's the article:

Austria accused over Tibet training

THE Austrian government has come under fire from human rights groups and the Austrian Green party for helping to train Chinese soldiers for the repression of Tibetan refugees.

Amnesty International, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) and the Austrian Green party's foreign policy spokeswoman have each condemned the program as a violation of human rights.

The Kleine Zeitung newspaper was the first to report that 10 officers of the Chinese army were on a three-week training course in Austria in February devoted to combat in mountainous regions.

The Greens want to raise the matter in parliament with Defence Minister Norbert Darabos whose department has said they "were taking the criticisms very seriously and were aware of the problem".

According to the ministry, the training program is an international scheme in which Hungary and Montenegro are also participating.

The government has also pointed out that the European Union and China concluded at the end of 2003 a strategic partnership which includes the training of officers.

But Ulrike Lunacek, the Greens spokeswoman, said the specific example of Chinese soldiers receiving training "goes against the protection of human rights".

And Amnesty International's Austrian branch quoted by the Kleine Zeitung said that "the army in China is very widely involved in the systematic violation of human rights in Tibet".

"While Europe wants to, at all costs, and it is right, to maintain the embargo on the sales of arms with China, Austria is showing a bad example," Karl Hafen, director of the Frankfurt-based ISHR.

China has ruled Tibet since it sent in the military to "liberate" the region in 1950.

International rights groups accuse the Chinese of ruling Tibet through repression and military intimidation.

7 comments:

Rich Felker said...

I'd like to know how something ridiculous like this gets started in the first place. There's got to be some sort of corruption/favors going on.. After all it's not like these countries have any political/strategic motive in training PLA murderers, as opposed to what the US had/has in training Latin American death squads..

Yangdon said...

I was surprised when I found out about this on www.chinaspy.org. After all that Austria went through during WWII, I don't how their government could ever have agreed to this ridiculous affair with China.

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