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Chinese Embassy "intimidated" by Human Rights Day vigil in London PDF Print E-mail
[12 December 2013] Chinese officials in London said they felt "intimidated" by activists holding a candlelit vigil outside the Chinese Embassy to mark Human Rights Day on 10 December. The Embassy refused to accept a giant postcard calling on the Chinese government to make immediate reforms to improve the human rights for all its citizens.

The vigil was held to remember all human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience who sacrificed their freedom and lives in order to promote and protect the human rights of those living under the Chinese Communist Party's regime in East Turkestan, Tibet and across China. The vigil was organised by Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity UK, a coalition of organisations and activists of which Tibet Society is a founding member.

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Human Rights Day vigilt the start of the vigil, organisers were informed by police that they would not be allowed onto Embassy property to deliver a giant postcard addressed to the Chinese Ambassador. The police said they had been informed that Chinese officials felt "intimidated" by the presence of human rights activists and supporters, and had been instructed not to let anyone approach the front entrance. (As the entrance is on private property the Embassy are within their rights to refuse access.)

Human Rights Day vigilAs Paul Golding, Campaigns Coordinator of Tibet Society, said to those gathered for the vigil, "The admission that we intimidate the Chinese Embassy officials, shows not only have they noted our presence, but are embarrassed by the vigil and fear the truth - the truth of the Chinese government's appalling human rights record and oppressive policies in Tibet and East Turkestan."

Human Rights Day vigilThe focal point of the vigil was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with participants reading out selected Articles from the Declaration and related case information of prisoners of conscience.

Nine prisoners of conscience were highlighted: Chinese - Wang Bingzhang, Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng; Uyghurs -  Ablikim Abdureyim, Gulmira Imin, Nurmemet Yasin; and Tibetans - Kunsang Bum, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Ugyen Tenzin. (Click here to read the Articles and associated case profiles.)

PostcardThe giant postcard refused by the Embassy consisted of a word-cloud image made from key words in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a message which read:

Dear Ambassador,

On the occasion of Human Rights Day 2013, we, Chinese Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK, urge the Chinese government to uphold and adhere to universally accepted norms on human rights.
In particular, we urge the Chinese government to:

  release all prisoners of conscience; specifically, Liu Xiaobo, Kerem Abduweli and Dolma Gyab.
  uphold and adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  change and update its domestic laws to conform with core international human rights conventions;
  abolish all forms of arbitrary detention;
  end the use of the death penalty;
  provide open access to Tibet and East Turkestan, including for foreign media, diplomats and international observers;
  implement the recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture from Chinas review in 2008;
  end the practice of forced organ harvesting.

Yours sincerely,

Chinese Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK

 
A smaller version of the postcard along with a more detailed letter has been posted to the Embassy. (Click here to read the letter.)

Human Rights Day vigilDuring the vigil, supporters chanted slogans of freedom, human rights and democracy in Chinese, Uyghur and Tibetan as well as English, as a show of solidarity for all oppressed people living under Chinese Communist Party rule.

The vigil concluded with the reading of a quote from the late Nelson Mandela:

To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.


Further reading:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights & related cases
Letter sent to Chinese Ambassador
2012 Human Rights Day - Voices of Freedom concert

View more photos via CUTS UK facebook page:

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/cuts.uk


Tibet Society is a founding member of Chinese Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK, a coalition which opposes the tyrannical rule of the Chinese Communist Party and upholds the values of freedom, human rights and democracy.

The coalition 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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