Call on the British government to take stronger action for Tibet
[21 July 2011] The Foreign & Commonwealth Office yesterday published a quarterly update to their annual Human Rights Report, which includes references to the ongoing crisis at Kirti Monastery and to the Chinese Premier's visit to the UK in June. Comments via the Foreign Office (FCO) website are requested from the public, providing an opportunity for Tibet supporters to call on the British government to take practical, meaningful actions to support Tibetans in their struggle to end China's oppression of Tibet.

Foreign Office logoDespite ministers having raised the Kirti issue with their Chinese counterparts, the British government needs to do more to support Tibetans peacefully protesting in Tibet. David Cameron's failure to publicly condemn China’s human rights abuses in Tibet during the Wen Jiabao's recent visit to the UK calls into question the government's previous promise to put human rights at the centre of its foreign policy.

Following on from the clear support for those calling for democracy in Northern Africa and the Middle East, the British government must show similar backing for human rights defenders in Tibet. A public message condemning China's actions in Ngaba (and now also in Kardze) and calling for the release of all those detained, would not only send a strong message to the Chinese leadership but also let those in Tibet know that their voices are being heard and supported.

Take Action
Send a message via the FCO website, calling on the British government to make resolute statements and undertake practical actions to support and defend the human rights of the Tibetan people and all those living under the Chinese regime.

Click here to go to the Human Rights report update on the FCO website. The comment section is at the bottom of the page. (Note: Public comments on the Foreign Office's website are read and noted by Foreign Office officials. )

Specifically call upon the British government to:
make robust public statements calling for the release of the Kirti monks and those arrested and detained for peacefully protesting in Ngaba and
Kardze, as well as stating their support for those calling for end to the oppression in Tibet and all human rights defenders across China;
ensure its dealings with the Chinese government are open and transparent. Dialogues should not be held behind closed doors and must have benchmarks and viable outcomes;
fulfill its promise of putting human rights at the centre of its foreign policy by including measures in trade deals with China that will help develop civil society, benefit local communities and guarantee human rights including the freedom of expression.

Extracts from FCO update regarding Tibet
"There have been some negative developments with regard to freedom of religion and minority rights. On 16 March a young monk at the Kirti Monastery, in a Tibetan area of Sichuan Province, self-immolated to protest against Chinese policies in Tibet. The resulting stand-off between police and monks was broken on 21 April, when police raided the monastery, reportedly removing 300 monks for re-education and beating to death two locals who tried to intervene... Minister of State Jeremy Browne wrote to the Chinese Ambassador to London regarding the situation at Kirti Monastery... Officials raised our concerns with the Chinese Embassy in London and the Chinese authorities in Beijing."

"The British Government has continued to engage with China on human rights at the highest levels. Human rights formed part of the Prime Minister’s discussions with Premier Wen Jiabao, during the Premier’s visit to the UK for our annual Summit on 25-27 June. At their joint press conference the Prime Minister stated that the development of civil society, freedom of expression, the rule of law and respect for human rights underpinned stability and prosperity for all countries."
The update also noted, that "lawyers, artists, bloggers, journalists, religious believers and other activists have disappeared or been harassed and intimidated" across China during the second quarter of 2011.

Click here
to read the full update from the FCO (scroll down below the 2010 report).
Note: the FCO update is dated 30 June 2011 and was published on 20 July 2011.

Further reading
Updates on crackdown at Kirti monastery
New wave of protests and arrests in Kardze (13 July)
Report on Chinese Premier's visit to the UK (28 June)
Human rights to be central to UK's foreign policy (31 March)

Tibet Society, the world’s 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; Overseas £36; Life £500).

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