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Press Release: Tibetan Uyghur & Chinese Solidarity UK call for renewed efforts to combat human rights violations in China

[10 December 2017] On Human Rights Day, Tibetan Uyghur & Chinese Solidarity UK [1] is calling on the UK and international community to take “immediate and bold action” to address ongoing human rights violations being committed by the Chinese authorities.

China has continued its widespread crackdown on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, with Chinese, Uyghurs and Tibetans being intimidated, detained and imprisoned solely for exercising these rights. Those arrested and imprisoned include bloggers, political activists, ethnic and religious minorities and human right activists. Such measures are often aimed at undermining Tibetan and Uyghur culture, including the use of their languages.

Tashi Wangchuk, an advocate for greater Tibetan language education in schools in Tibet, has been charged with “inciting separatism” and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. Similarly, Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur academic, was sentenced to life imprisonment on 23 September 2014 on separatism-related charges. He is an advocate of autonomy for Uyghurs and worked to promote understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese.

Dozens of prisoner of conscience have died in prison or immediately following their release. On 13 July 2017, Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo died in police custody and Yang Tongyan (a.k.a. Yang Tianshui), a freelance writer and democracy veteran, died on 7 November 2017, just two months after he was released on medical parole.

“The Chinese authorities have intensified their campaign to criminalise and punish dissent. Activists and bloggers are routinely arrested and imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. China’s criminal justice system is being used to brutally silence critics,” said Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns for Tibet Society.

Over the course of 2017, President Xi Jinping took further efforts to restrict the right to freedom of expression. New repressive laws, such as the Cyber Security Law (which came into effect on 1 June 2017) provide greater scope for the Chinese authorities to clamp down on those expressing views online critical of the government.

Taiwanese democracy activist Lee Ming-cheh, who disappeared upon crossing into mainland China from Macau in March, reappeared on 28 November 2017 when he was sentenced to five years in prison for “subverting state power”. His online discussions on democracy were used as evidence during his trial. Last year, prominent Tibetan writer and blogger, Druklo, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for his writings on the current situation in Tibet.

A demonstration will be held outside the Chinese Embassy in London [2] to protest against the crackdown of writers, bloggers and activists occurring under President Xi Jinping’s administration.

Tibetan Uyghur & Chinese Solidarity UK has also sent an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, calling on her to take urgent action to condemn China’s human rights record and to urges the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those detained and imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

TUCS (UK) is the Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese Solidarity UK group working together to campaign against the human rights violations by the Chinese government.

Available for Interview:
Gloria Montgomery (UK activist on Tibet): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pempa Lobsang (Tibetan): 07725 054 471
Rahima Mahmut (Uyghur): 07830039693
Shao Jiang (Chinese): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes:

1. Tibetan Uyghur and Chinese Solidarity UK is a coalition of organisations and activists that opposes the tyrannical rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and works to promote human rights, freedom and democracy for all oppressed people and nations under the CCP. The coalition includes the following organisations: Chinese Solidarity Campaign, Federation for Democratic China, Free Tibet, Friends of Tiananmen Mothers, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Tibetan Community in Britain, Tibet Society, Uyghur Association and Uyghur Community UK.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CUTS.UK/about/

2. Human Rights Day Demonstration, 11am - 1pm, Sunday 10 December. Outside the Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL. TUCS UK is hosting a demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy to mark International Human Rights Day, to express solidarity with all those oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party regime, and to call for freedom, human rights and democracy for the peoples of Tibet, East Turkestan, China and Hong Kong.

 

Media Contacts
For more information about a current Tibet Society's campaign or to if you would like to arrange an interview, please contact our Head of Advocacy, Gloria Montgomery at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+44 20 7923 0021
London, UK.

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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 £28; Family £36; Life £500.