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Human Rights Day 2010 PDF Print E-mail
[14 December 2010] For Human Rights Day 2010, Tibet Society worked as a key member of the coalition group, Chinese, Uighur & Tibetan Solidarity UK (CUTS UK), to highlight the case of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and to call for the release of all prisoners of conscience in China, Tibet and East Turkestan.

replica Nobel medalAs well as delivering letters to David Cameron and the Chinese Ambassador, an Early Day Motion was laid down at Parliament, a giant replica Nobel medal was taken to the Chinese Embassy and a solidarity candle-lt vigil was held. The events culminated with a cultural social event on the evening of Human Rights Day, with music from the Chinese, Uighur and Tibetan communities.

Page index
1. Letter delivered to Prime Minister Cameron
2. Chinese Embassy refuses giant Nobel medal for Liu Xiaobo
3. Human Rights Day candle-lit vigil

Supporters can still action in relation to Human Rights Day, by clicking here
.



1. Letter delivered to Prime Minister Cameron
CUTS UK at Downing StreetOn 2 December, representatives of CUTS UK delivered a letter to Downing Street calling on Prime Minister Cameron to make a public statement prior to Human Rights Day urging the Chinese government to release Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and to release all prisoners of conscience. The letter also urged the British government to publicly support a process which will allow real freedom, human rights and democracy for all citizens in China, including Chinese, Uighurs and Tibetans.

During his recent trade mission to China, Prime Minister Cameron failed to make any public statement regarding Liu Xiaobo or Chinas dismal human rights record. Human Rights Day and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on 10 December, provided an opportunity for the Prime Minister to redress the balance.

Though a response from the Prime Minister has not been received, Foreign Secretary William Hague did make a statement on Human Rights Day, saying that, "Human rights are at the very heart of Britains foreign policy." Hague also called for the release of Liu Xiaobo and prisoners of conscience around the world.

Letter to the Prime Minister
I Foreign Secretary's statement
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Chinese Embassy refuses giant Nobel medal for Liu Xiaobo
Nobel medal deliveryOn the eve of Human Rights Day, CUTS UK attempted to deliver a giant Nobel medal to the Chinese Embassy in London, along with a letter to the Ambassador, to highlight the continued imprisonment of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, and thousands of other prisoners of conscience across China, Tibet and East Turkestan.

Before trying to deliver the medal, representatives from CUTS UK read out a statement on the steps of the Chinese Embassy, echoing Liu Xiaobos call for freedom and democracy in China, and urging the Chinese government to stop violating the human rights of those under its control. Unfortunately Embassy officials refused to answer the door, so the medal remains with CUTS UK, who hope one day soon to be able to present in person to Liu Xiaobo. The letter to the Chinese Ambassador was subsequently put in the post.

A press release was issued on the same day, in which, Fabian Hamilton, MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, added his support to the demands issued by CUTS UK, saying,
On the eve of Human Rights Day and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony I call upon the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo, a defender of human rights and promoter of democracy, and to release all prisoners of conscience. Over the past 20 years we have seen dramatic changes in China's economic development, much of which has been positive for both China and the rest of the world. Now it is time for the Chinese government to apply the same rigour and effort to improving its human rights record. I support the demands issued today by Chinese, Uighur Tibetan Solidarity UK and I also call on the British government to support processes in China which will bring about real democracy for all the citizens of China and freedoms for the people of China, Tibet and East Turkestan.
 
Press release
I CUTS UK's Human Rights Day statement I Letter to the Chinese Ambassador
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Human Rights Day candle-lit vigil
VigilOn Human Rights Day, Friday 10 December, CUTS UK held a solidarity candle-lit vigil outside the Chinese Embassy. The centre-piece of the vigil was an empty chair with a photo of Liu Xiaobo, replicating the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo that same day.

Nearly 100 people braved the cold weather for the two hour vigil, which included chanting slogans in Chinese, Uighur and Tibetan as well as in English, a few words from representatives of each of the three communities, a reading of the CUTS UK Human Rights Day statement and a speech from special guest, Rob Pomfret, Amnesty International UK's Country Coordinator for China.

As well as posters demanding the release of Liu Xiaobo, there were placards depicting 40 prisoners of conscience from China, Tibet, East Turkestan and Mongolia. The 40 individuals represented thousands currently incarcerated or placed under house arrest by the Chinese government for non-violently expressing their beliefs or opinions.

The Human Rights Day activities culminated in a social cultural event which involved musical performances from the Chinese, Uighur and Tibetan communities. The function room was packed, with everyone listening intently to a variety of performances. The audience were captivated by the dulcit tones of Rahime, a Uighur singer accompanied by Nizamidin playing a tambur (long necked lute), and roared with appreciation when a Chinese singers sang two traditional Tibetan songs. With the evening proving so successful CUTS UK are considering holding a similar event at a larger venue in 2011. Tibet Society will keep its supporters informed.

Take action I View more photos (via Flickr)
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Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 20; Overseas 32; Life 400).

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