Free Tibet – Urgent Campaign

11 March 2010

Urgent: Foreign Secretary David Miliband must speak up for Tibet in China

Please take action today

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is scheduled to travel to China next week to meet with his Chinese counterparts. Please email him today, before he leaves for China and urge him to:

Make a public statement of concern over human rights in Tibet during his visit to China.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is travelling to China at a very sensitive time. The month of March marks the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan people’s brutally crushed national uprising against Chinese rule. It is also two years since the crackdown on peaceful protesters in 2008 which resulted in the deaths of many Tibetans. Today, an overt Chinese military presence in Tibet is enforcing restrictions on movements and communications, all aimed at preventing any expression of dissent.

In 2008, without parliamentary oversight, the Foreign Secretary changed the British government’s position on the status of Tibet, stating, for the first time, that “Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China”. The British government had until then, for 94 years, recognised Chinese “suzerainty” in Tibet but not Chinese sovereignty, regarding Tibet as having a ‘special position’.

Miliband claimed that the change of position, a historic concession to China, would remove obstacles for the British Government’s engagement with China on human rights.

However no returns were actually secured. The human rights situation in Tibet has in fact worsened.

If the Foreign Secretary remains publicly silent on Tibet while in China, it would demonstrate the British government’s tacit endorsement of China’s intensifying crackdown in Tibet.

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