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Letter sent to Prime Minister prior to China visit PDF Print E-mail
[29 November 2013] Tibet Society, on behalf of the UK-based coalition Chinese, Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK, has sent a letter to Prime Minister Cameron prior to his State Visit to China. The coalition is calling on Cameron to raise human rights with the Chinese President, to engage with human rights defenders whilst in China and to make a public statement calling on the Chinese government to commit to progress on human rights.

Prime Minister David Cameron
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

27 November 2013

Dear Prime Minister,

We, the organisations and individuals forming the UK-based coalition group Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity, would like to thank the UK government for standing up for the rights of ethnic minorities during Chinas Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations in October. We were also encouraged to see you taking a firm stand on human rights in Sri Lanka during the recent Commonwealth Summit. We very much hope you continue to use appropriate opportunities to raise and promote human rights during your upcoming trip to China.

Your trip comes at an important time for human rights in China. As well as Chinas Universal Periodic Review in October and the election to the UN Human Rights Council on 12 November, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held its Third Plenum earlier this month. Following the Third Plenum, Chinese leaders announced the abolition of re-education through labour camps and the banning of the use of torture to extract confessions. These developments are welcome, however, the Chinese government must be encouraged to not only fulfil these pledges but to do more, as all too often their pronouncements are meretricious in nature.

We call on you to urge the Chinese government to:

► Abolish all forms of arbitrary detention;
Release all prisoners of conscience;
Ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
End the use of the death penalty;
Provide open access to Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang) including foreign media, diplomats and international observers;
Implement the recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture from Chinas review in 2008;
Adhere and uphold the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
End the practice of forced organ harvesting.

We urge you to not only raise human rights directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior Chinese ministers, but to engage with civil society by meeting human rights defenders. We also ask that you make a public statement during your trip, calling on the Chinese government to commit to substantive progress on human and civil rights for all its citizens including ethnic minorities. Such a public statement would not only keep the spotlight on Chinas human rights record, but also give hope and encouragement to Chinese, Uyghur and Tibetan human rights defenders whose voices the Chinese Communist Party continue to try to silence.

In particular, we ask that you raise three individual cases:

Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for authoring Charter 08 which called for multiparty democracy and respect for human rights in China. His subsequent award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 only further highlights the Chinese Communist Partys immoral efforts to stifle and eradicate free speech.

Kerem Abduweli, a Uyghur who has been in prison since 1990 and had four extensions to his original 12-year sentence. He was arrested for allegedly forming the Islamic Reformist Party, charged with carrying out counter-revolutionary propaganda and agitation, and despite a lack of evidence sentenced in a closed trial without due process.

Dolma Gyab, a Tibetan nomad, was given a death sentence in August 2013 for the alleged murder of his wife who self-immolated in March. It is feared the only evidence used against Dolma Gyab was a confession extracted under torture, and the sentence is suspected to be politically motivated.

Please call for the immediate release of Liu Xiaobo and Kerem Abduweli, and for Dolma Gyabs death sentence to be commuted and his case to be urgently reviewed.

Finally, we would like to remind you of your Foreign Secretarys statement, made in Parliament on 3 September, We should always be clear in the United Kingdom about our belief in universal human rights and never be afraid to give our advocacy for those rights. That includes relations with China.

We urge you during your visit to China, to not be afraid to stand up for truth and justice, to be clear and frank with the Chinese leadership on implementing the rule of law and accepting the universality of human rights, and to deliver a message that extends support and solidarity to Chinas civil society.

Yours sincerely,

Philippa Carrick
CEO, Tibet Society
on behalf of Chinese, Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK

Chinese, Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK opposes the tyrannical rule of the Chinese Communist Party and upholds the values of freedom, human rights and democracy.

Chinese, Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK is made up of the following organisations: Chinese Solidarity Campaign, Federation for Democratic China, Friends of Tiananmen Mothers, Tibetan Community in Britain, Tibet Society, Tibetan Youth UK, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Uyghur Association and Uyghur Community UK.

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 24; Family 36; Life 500)
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