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ACTION: Call on the UK to raise Tibet at the UK-China human rights dialogue PDF Print E-mail
[3 April 2014] On 14-15 April, the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue will resume after a hiatus of two years. Tibet Society, as part of a coalition of Tibet and China NGOs, has submitted a briefing paper to the UK Foreign Office outlining key concerns and recommendations that should be raised during the Dialogue. Take Action: Call on the UK government to raise our key concerns and recommendations during the Dialogue, as well as Tibetan prisoner cases that have only come to light this week.

Take Action  I  Background  I  Recent prisoner cases  I  Briefing paper

UPDATE, 10 April 2014
China has unilaterally postponed the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue. No new date has been set. No further action is required at this time. Once a new date is announced an updated action will be considered... read more

China-UK flagsTake Action
Please email or write to Mr Hugo Swire (Minister of State for the Foreign Office), calling on the UK government to raise the following points during the upcoming UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 14-15 April 2014:

1. Ask the Chinese government to provide a date for the visit to Tibet and China by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, to which China agreed at the UN Human Rights Council on 20 March 2014. Also ask for assurances that Ms Pillay will be allowed free and unfettered access during her time in Tibet.

2. Call on the Chinese government to immediately release all Tibetans detained and imprisoned for alleged involvement in peaceful protests in Driru county, Tibet Autonomous Region, in September and October 2013.

3. In particular, to provide details of the charges against the following Tibetans from Driru county whose cases have only just come to light: Tsultrim Gyaltsen (jailed for 13 years), Trigyal (13 years), Yugyal (10 years), Ngangtak (10 years) and Rigsal (10 years). Also, to clarify the legal processes which resulted in their imprisonment, and to provide assurance of family visits whilst in prison. (See below for case details.)

4. Call for the immediate release of senior monk Thardoe Gyalsten, detained in December and recently sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment on charges of 'inciting separatism' after being allegedly found in possession of photos of the Dalai Lama and recordings of his speeches.
(See below for case details.)

5. Raise the key concerns and recommended actions in the briefing paper authored by the China NGO network (which includes Tibet Society) as presented to the Foreign Office on 2 April 2014.

Mr Hugo Swire, Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
Salutation: Mr Swire
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Also copy your email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
write: c/o Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH

Please take action before 11 April 2014. If you receive a reply to your letter or email, please send a copy to Tibet Society, as this helps us to monitor the situation. Click here for Tibet Society contact details.

Representatives from the UK and Chinese governments will be meeting in the UK on 14-15 April to discuss human rights issues. The UK-China Human Rights Dialogue last took place in Nanjing, China in January 2012. The annual process was suspended last year following China's anger at David Cameron's meeting with the Dalai Lama in May 2012. During a trade mission to China in December 2013, Cameron established agreement from Chinese president Xi Jinping for the resumption of the Human Rights Dialogue.

On 2 April, a coalition of UK-based and international Tibet and China NGOs including Tibet Society, presented a briefing paper to Stephen Lillie, Director of the Asia Pacific Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The paper highlights key concerns on the human rights situation in China and Tibet. It also provides a series recommended actions that the UK delegation should urge the Chinese government to take.

The recommended actions include:
► ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
adherence to various internationally accepted standards on human rights,
release of human rights defenders currently in detention.

Specific actions relating to Tibet include:
measures to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination,
guarantees for cultural and linguistic rights,
removal of restrictions on religious practice,
full and open access to Tibet for media, diplomats and international observers.

Click here to read the full briefing paper.

Recent prisoner cases
Thardoe GyaltsenThardoe Gyalsten (pictured right) was sentenced recently to 18 years in prison on charges of 'inciting separatism'. Thardoe was detained in December 2013 after allegedly found in possession of photos of the Dalai Lama and recordings of his speeches and teachings. Thardoe is the chantleader and administrator of Drongna monastery in Driru (Chinese: Biru) county, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) prefecture, Kham (now incorporated into China's Tibet Autonomous Region). The exact date and details of Thardoe's trial and sentencing are not known.
Further reading: Phayul I RFA

YugyalTsultrim GyaltsenTsultrim Gyaltsen (pictured near right) and Yugyal (far right) are serving sentences of 13 and 10 years respectively for "disturbing social stability" and "misconduct with government officials". Family members were only informed in March of the prison sentences, prior to which there had been no information on the two men since their detention in October 2013. Both are suspected of being involved in protests in Driru county which began after Tibetans refused government orders to fly Chinese flags from their homes. The dates and details of their trials are not known.
Further reading: Phayul I RFA

RigsalRigsal (pictured right) and Ngangtak, two Tibetan village leaders from Driru county, have been jailed for 10 years following protests in 2013. Both men were sentenced on 14 January 2014 for allegedly failing to fulfil their duties as villager leaders and in the case of Ngangtak, for instigating fellow villagers against the Chinese authorities. Both men were detained in November 2013 and held incommunicado. Their families were not informed of the trial or sentencing. Information on their cases has only just emerged. Further details of the charges and sentencing are not known.
Further reading: TCHRD

TrigyalTrigyal (pictured right), a Tibetan man from Mokhim village in Driru county, has been sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment on unknown charges. Trigyal is from the same village as Rigstal and Ngangtak, therefore it is likely the charges relate to the same 2013 protests. Further details about Trigyal's case are not known.
Further reading: TCHRD

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