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EU-China Summit 2009 PDF Print E-mail
[15 May 2009] The EU-China Summit on 20 May is an opportunity to press the EU to take a strong stance with regard to China's human rights record in Tibet. Tibet Society urges its members and supporters to lobby the Chair of the summit and the President of the European Commission.

You can help press the EU to take a firm position in relation to China's human rights record in Tibet by writing directly to the summit Chair, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Below are sample letters you can use.

------------------------------

Letter to Czech President Vaclav Klaus

[INSERT NAME]
[INSERT ADDRESS]

President Vaclav Klaus
Office of the President
Prague Castle
119 08 Prague 1
Czech Republic
 
[INSERT DATE]
 
Dear President Vaclav Klaus
 
I am writing to you as the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and thus host of the EU-China Summit in Prague on May 20, to urge you to take affirmative action regarding the untenable situation in Tibet when you meet with Wen Jiabao at the summit.
 
Currently Tibet remains under de facto martial law, sealed off from independent observers and media, as China continues with its attempt to silence Tibetans from speaking out against Chinese rule. Since January 2009 there have been more than 20 separate protests, which, given the levels of security, is nothing short of extraordinary, and a graphic illustration of the deep-seated frustrations of the Tibetan people, not only about their current situation, but about Chinas failure to respond positively to the Dalai Lamas efforts to secure a peaceful solution to the 60-year occupation of Tibet.
 
On 10 June 2008, the European Union adopted a joint statement with the US, in which leaders of both sides of the Atlantic encouraged both parties (Chinese and Tibetan) to move forward with a substantive, constructive and results orientated dialogue at an early date and encourage China to address its poor human rights records. However, the latest round of dialogue between envoys of the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Chinese Government, ended with China contemptuously rejecting the very document it had requested, the Tibetan Government in Exiles Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy, stating This was a test to see how far you have come to understand the position and the policy of the Central Government. And you have failed the examination miserably.
 
This and previous statements about Tibet have been deeply appreciated, however, the truth of the matter is that the situation in Tibet is worsening and the actions of the EU and other European institutions have regrettably not yet convinced China to end the suffering of the Tibetan people and resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with its exiled leaders.
 
Presently, more than 600 political prisoners are being held in Tibet; many of whom were detained during the overwhelmingly peaceful protests in 2008, whilst others have languished in prison for many years. Tibetan political prisoners undergo the harshest of prison conditions with deprivation of food and sleep, long periods in isolation cells and torture. The vast majority of these prisoners are held for simply taking part in peaceful political activities that exercise their fundamental human rights. In April 2009, the Chinese government sentenced Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak to death for their involvement in protests in Lhasa in March 2008. Three other Tibetans, Tenzin Phuntsok, Kangtsuk and Penkyi, were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. A further three Tibetans also received harsh sentences; Dawa Sangpo and Penkyi were both given life imprisonment and Chime Lhamo was given a 10 year sentence.
 
With the founding principles of the European Union in mind, which include liberty, democracy, a respect for human rights and basic civil liberties, and rule by law, I urge you to call upon China at the EU-China Summit to:

 
  • Quash the death sentences with immediate effect; insist that all eight cases are impartially investigated, any further trials are conducted openly and with due regard to international legal standards and that the detainees have access to lawyers of their choice.

  • Suspend all cases related to events of March and April 2008 until a full and independent inquiry into events around these dates is held.

  • Submit a full list of the names and whereabouts of all Tibetans still detained in relation to last years events to the EU.

  • Agree to the demand made in November 2008 by the UN Committee Against Torture for a "thorough and independent enquiry into the reported excessive use of force, including against peaceful demonstrators".

  • Reverse its rejection of the Dalai Lama's initiatives and sincerely negotiate a peaceful resolution to the 60-year occupation of Tibet.
Finally, I ask that a EU Special Representative for Tibet, as it exists for other regions and countries facing serious crisis, be appointed to ensure the issue of Tibet is sufficiently addressed.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
------------------------------
------------
Letter to President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso
(email messages can be sent through the contact form at the website
http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/president/contact/mail/index_en.htm)

[INSERT NAME]
[INSERT ADDRESS]

Jos Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission
1049 Brussels
Belgium
 
[INSERT DATE]
 
Dear Jos Manuel Barroso
 
I am writing to you prior to the EU-China Summit in Prague on May 20, to urge you to take affirmative action regarding Tibet when you meet with Wen Jiabao at the summit.
 
Currently Tibet remains under de facto martial law, sealed off from independent observers and media, as China continues with its attempt to silence Tibetans from speaking out against Chinese rule. Since January 2009 there have been more than 20 separate protests, which, given the levels of security, is nothing short of extraordinary, and a graphic illustration of the deep-seated frustrations of the Tibetan people, not only about their current situation, but about Chinas failure to respond positively to the Dalai Lamas efforts to secure a peaceful solution to the 60-year occupation of Tibet.
 
On 10 June 2008, the European Union adopted a joint statement with the US, in which leaders of both sides of the Atlantic encouraged both parties (Chinese and Tibetan) to move forward with a substantive, constructive and results orientated dialogue at an early date and encourage China to address its poor human rights records. However, the latest round of dialogue between envoys of the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Chinese Government, ended with China contemptuously rejecting the very document it had requested, the Tibetan Government in Exiles Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy, stating This was a test to see how far you have come to understand the position and the policy of the Central Government. And you have failed the examination miserably.
 
This and previous statements about Tibet have been deeply appreciated, however, the truth of the matter is that the situation in Tibet is worsening and the actions of the EU and other European institutions have regrettably not yet convinced China to end the suffering of the Tibetan people and resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with its exiled leaders.
 
Presently, more than 600 political prisoners are being held in Tibet; many of whom were detained during the overwhelmingly peaceful protests in 2008, whilst others have languished in prison for many years. Tibetan political prisoners undergo the harshest of prison conditions with deprivation of food and sleep, long periods in isolation cells and torture. The vast majority of these prisoners are held for simply taking part in peaceful political activities that exercise their fundamental human rights. In April 2009, the Chinese government sentenced Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak to death for their involvement in protests in Lhasa in March 2008. Three other Tibetans, Tenzin Phuntsok, Kangtsuk and Penkyi, were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. A further three Tibetans also received harsh sentences; Dawa Sangpo and Penkyi were both given life imprisonment and Chime Lhamo was given a 10 year sentence.
 
With the founding principles of the European Union in mind, which include liberty, democracy, a respect for human rights and basic civil liberties, and rule by law, I urge you to call upon China at the EU-China Summit to:

  • Quash the death sentences with immediate effect; insist that all eight cases are impartially investigated, any further trials are conducted openly and with due regard to international legal standards and that the detainees have access to lawyers of their choice.

  • Suspend all cases related to events of March and April 2008 until a full and independent inquiry into events around these dates is held.

  • Submit a full list of the names and whereabouts of all Tibetans still detained in relation to last years events to the EU.

  • Agree to the demand made in November 2008 by the UN Committee Against Torture for a "thorough and independent enquiry into the reported excessive use of force, including against peaceful demonstrators".

  • Reverse its rejection of the Dalai Lama's initiatives and sincerely negotiate a peaceful resolution to the 60-year occupation of Tibet.

Yours sincerely,
 


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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