Pro-Tibet activists took part in a protest against the Chinese premier outside Downing Street
DHARAMSHALA, June 17: As the Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang began his visit to the UK earlier today, a coalition of Tibetan and Uyghur activists have urged the British Prime Minister David Cameron to speak about human rights violation by the Chinese government and publicly suggest China to “uphold universally-accepted human rights values, adhere to the rule of law and implement political reform.”
Chinese Uyghur Tibetan Solidarity UK (CUTS UK), a coalition of UK-based human rights organisations, have urged Cameron to stand by his government's stated policy of advocating human rights.
Meanwhile, several activists including Tibetans took to the streets to protest demanding Cameron to talk Tibet with Li.
Activists wearing masks of Li and carrying the Tibetan national flag shouted slogans calling Cameron to raise the issue of Tibetan self immolation with Li who is accompanied by a huge business delegation.
It also asked Cameron to talk about issues of Tibet and East Turkestan directly with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The coalition appealed Cameron to issue a public statement calling on Li to take concrete measures on human and civil rights for its citizens including minorities.
"The visit of Premier Li to the UK is being purported to herald a new era of Chinese investment in the UK, however, it could also herald a worrying level of influence by China in the UK. David Cameron must be clear that universal values of human and civil rights are integral to any engagement we have with China and Britain’s relationship with China cannot be just about trade and economics," said Philippa Carrick, CEO of Tibet Society, a founding member of CUTS UK.
"Mr. Cameron should not only be seen publicly to adhere to the government's own stated policy of advocating human rights in its relationship with China, but also follow his own government's guidelines, as set out in the National Action on Business and Human Rights ," added Ms Carrick.
Rahime Mahmut, from Uyghur Community UK, said, "David Cameron has an opportunity to speak out for all those in China, including Uyghurs, Tibetans and Han, whose voices have been silenced by the Chinese regime. I urge Mr Cameron: Do not allow China to buy your silence on human rights."
Shao Jiang, a Chinese human rights activist, survivor of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and member of CUTS UK, added, "The UK must not be bullied by China. The Chinese government seeks to deflect criticism from its human rights record by threatening withdrawal of trade."
Shao Jiang added, "The truth is that China needs trade to prop up its autocratic regime. It is time for the UK and the international community to stand up to the Chinese Communist bully and make the acceptance and adherence to the International Bill of Rights and human rights treaties core demands to help bring about human rights, freedom and democracy for all the people of China."