MM All Party London 05092018

Yesterday afternoon (9 May 2018), the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet [1] hosted a roundtable discussion on the issue of access to Tibet, led by Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), who presented a new ICT report to the group.

The group, which is co-chaired by Chris Law, MP for Dundee West and Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, saw one of its largest turnouts in over five years.

The issue of access to Tibet has long been a sore point of discussion for the Chinese authorities. Despite claims to the contrary by government officials in Beijing, Tibet remains largely closed to foreign visitors [2]. The detention and subsequent expulsion of two New York Times journalists who were visiting Eastern Tibet in February 2018 is but one of China's more recent attempts to limit who enters the territory and control what kind of information reaches the outside world.

Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at Tibet Society, said:

"President Xi Jinping's claim that Tibet is open to international visitors continues to ring hollow as the Chinese authorities routinely deny foreigners entry into Tibet. Such actions are clear evidence that the Chinese authorities have something to hide and will go to any measures to avoid international scrutiny of their human rights record in Tibet."

In addition to being a major human rights concern, the roundtable discussed how such measures are also highly political in nature and reflect an unwillingness by the Chinese authorities to engage in reciprocal relations with other states, including the United Kingdom.

While European leaders and Parliamentarians, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have referred to reciprocity as a key principle in terms of their bilateral relations with China, discussions have often stopped short of addressing the wider issues.

When addressing the group yesterday, Matteo Mecacci said:

"It is crucial that the principle of reciprocity is implemented not just in terms of trade and the economy, but also in relation to freedom of movement, information and the exchange of peoples."

Acknowledging that reciprocity is an important tenet of international relations, beyond trade, Matteo Mecacci briefed MPs, representatives of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, NGOs and members of the public on new developments currently taking place in Washington, where Members of Congress have introduced bipartisan legislation, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, to promote freedom of movement and an open and accessible Tibet for American citizens and for Tibetans themselves, including the Dalai Lama.

Similarly, while Chinese citizens, diplomats, journalists and NGOs traveling to the UK have unimpeded access to all of the UK, the same cannot be said of UK citizens visiting Tibetan areas. In addressing this issue, the APPG for Tibet discussed new ways forward for political advocacy in the UK and Matteo Meccaci provided an insight into how the UK government can press for a more reciprocal and fair relationship with China.

Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at Tibet Society said: 

"The one-sided nature of China's freedom of movement regime is a matter for global embarrassment and falls desperately short of promoting equal relations between states, not to mention undermines human rights. At the very least, Tibetans should be able to travel freely within Tibet and China and British government officials, journalists, NGOs and citizens should be granted the same treatment when visiting China that Chinese officials expect to receive when they visit the UK." 

Following the roundtable, civil society organisations from a range of NGOs attended a private meeting to discuss ways forward to address this issue at the UK level.

Contact: 
Gloria Montgomery, Tibet Society | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)7377890148
Kate Saunders, ICT | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)7947138612 

Notes for Editors: 

[1] Members of the APPGT: Tim Loughton MP for East Worthing and Shoreham (co-chair), Chris Law MP for Dundee West (co-chair), Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East, Karen Lee MP for Lincoln, Nic Dakin MP for Scunthorpe, Patrick Grady MP for Glasgow North, Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton, Pavilion, Catherine West MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Kate Hoey MP for Vauxhall, James Gray MP for North Wiltshire, Mark Pritchard MP for The Wrekin, Lord Steel of Aikwood, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Barbara Keele, Sir Peter Bottomley and Tibet Society (APPGT Secretariat).

[2] In the last 20 years, China has allowed only two UN High Commissioners for Human Rights to visit the country in order to assess the human rights situation: Mary Robinson in 1998, and Louise Arbour in 2005. Similarly, the UK government's requests to visit the country have fallen on deaf ears. Although a UK diplomat was granted access to Tibet in June 2014 on an escorted visit, requests to visit Tibet since then remain outstanding.

shokjang

Tibet Activists express concern for his welfare and continue to press for his full freedom 

Shokjang will remain under extreme scrutiny with a further two years 'deprivation of political rights'

Tibet campaigners received news today [1] of the release of high-profile political prisoner Shokjang (Druklo) [2]. In February 2016, Shokjang was wrongfully sentenced to three years in prison on charges  of “inciting separatism” and “disturbing social stability” [3] following his arrest on 19 March 2015, making him due for release today, 19 March 2018.
 
Shokjang has a history of activism. As a student of Tibetan literature at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou, Shokjang organised student protests calling for greater freedom for Tibetans during the mass Tibetan uprisings in March 2008. [4] He was later detained and held arbitrarily for a month for his involvement in the 2008 Tibetan Uprisings, [5] and for publishing a literary magazine that criticized China’s policies [6].
 
On 17 February 2015, Shokjang was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and two years’ deprivation of political rights for “inciting separatism”; Shokjang insisted his innocence throughout. According to the Court, Shokjang committed “crimes” through his writings, including an essay on freedom of religion and a blogpost recounting the events of 16 March 2015 when gun-wielding armed police officers conducted a search at his hotel room [7].
 
Shokjang is a highly regarded Tibetan poet, lyricist, short story writer, and essayist. He is the author of four books: The Courageous PathThe Might of the PenFor Liberty, I Have No Regrets, [8] and Rangdrol’s Courage. Numerous governments and human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Pen America, Human Rights in China, have raised his case since his arrest in 2015 [9].
 
Shokjang’s arrest and false imprisonment expose a larger systemic issue of repression of all aspects of life in Tibet, including the freedom of expression. It also underlines the increasing insecurity of the occupying regime of China. As a result of these crackdowns and Xi Jinping’s increasingly oppressive regime in Tibet and other Chinese-occupied territories, resistance inside Tibet is stronger today than it ever has been.
 
Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at Tibet Society in London said:
 
“Shokjang was wrongfully imprisoned on politically motivated charges and it is utterly deplorable that he was forced to spend the past three years of his life behind bars. His imprisonment is yet another appalling example of the ruthless and repressive tactics used by China in a bid to crush dissent, especially when it comes to those speaking out about China’s policies in Tibet.”
 
Tenzin Jigdal of the International Tibet Network, [10] Dharamsala, India, said:
 
“Shokjang was wrongfully convicted and denied his freedom for three years for simply exerting his right to express views about the treatment of the Tibetan people. We are glad to hear that he is out of prison, but with two years’ deprivation of his political rights he will still not be a free man. Life in Tibet for former political prisoners is extremely difficult, [11] and we call on all governments who have raised Shokjang’s case to press China to immediately lift his deprivation of political rights and refrain from any surveillance, harassment or intimidation."

Notes:
 
[1] Tsering Kyi tweeted “Source confirmed Tibetan writer #Shokjang released from Rebkong prison after 3 years #in Chinese prison” - https://twitter.com/dreamlhasa/status/975746037288665089 also Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy: https://twitter.com/tchrd_/status/975749105648508928
 
[2] ‘Shokjang’ is a pen-name used by Druklo. Further details about his life and case can be found here: http://freetibetanheroes.org/portfolio-items/druklo-pen-name-shokjang/
 
[3] 'Shokjang sentenced to three years for ‘separatist’ writing and activities', PEN, 22 February 2016 https://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/chinatibet-shokjang-sentenced-to-three-years-for-separatist-writing-and-activities/
 
[4] Video footage, from 16 March 2008, of hundreds of  Tibetan students, including Shokjang, staging a peaceful protest distributing leaflets and calling for an end to the crackdown in Tibet and carrying banners that read “Through Happiness and Sorrow, We Stand United”.https://vimeo.com/19651141. More coverage of the 2008 Uprising can be found at  https://TibetUprising.org
 
[5] Shokjang was detained along with writer Tashi Rabten, pen-name Theurang (who went on to serve a four year prison sentence). Tashi Rabten subsequently wrote about this detention, translated by High Peaks Pure Earth. http://highpeakspureearth.com/2015/tashi-rabten-remembers-detained-writer-shokjang/
 
[6] 'TCHRD condemns arbitrary detention of Tibetan writer Shokjang', Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democract, 21 April 2015, www.tchrd.org/tchrd-condemns-arbitrary-detention-of-tibetan-writer-shok-jang/   
 
[7] He was also accused of sharing online an extract from the book The Line between Sky and Earth by fellow Tibetan Tragyal, and a news article stating that the Chinese government was willing to talk with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on matters other than Tibetan independence; posting online video footage of Chinese police beating ordinary Chinese people in the street; and storing on his phone six books, including Wang Lixiong’s Sky Burial: The Fate of Tibet. Shokjang wrote a letter of appeal to Qinghai Higher People’s Court, explaining the arbitrary and illegal manner in which he had been detained.
 
[8] High Peaks Pure Earth English translation of an essay by Tibetan writer and intellectual Shokjang (aka Druklo) originally featured in Shokjang’s book, “For Liberty, I Have No Regrets”. “Should One Follow the Party’s Instructions?” - http://highpeakspureearth.com/2018/should-one-follow-the-partys-instructions-by-shokjang/
 
[9] 'Tibetan writer imprisoned after unfair trial', Amnesty International, 8 April 2016 https://ua.amnesty.ch/urgent-actions/2015/04/085-15/085-15-1?ua_language=en
 
[10] International Tibet Network, a global coalition of more than 170 Tibet organisations dedicated to campaigning to end human rights violations in Tibet and restore rights to the Tibetan people. https://TibetNetwork.org/
 
[11] See the full transcript of former political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen’s testimony to the Congressional Executive Commission on China, 14 February 2018. https://www.savetibet.org/testimony-of-dhondup-wangchen-at-the-hearing-by-the-congressional-executive-commission-on-china-on-tibet-from-all-angles-protecting-human-rights-defending-strategic-access-and-challenging-china/
 
Contacts 

Gloria Montgomery, Tibet Society
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +447377890148

Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +91 988 225 5516

panchenlama

 

Global Tibet Campaigners launch Renewed Call to World Governments to seek tangible evidence of the well-being and whereabouts of kidnapped Tibetan religious leader, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama

[London] For over 20 years, Tibet's Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, has been missing after he and his family were detained by Chinese authorities. Today on the 23rd anniversary since he first disappeared, Tibetans and Tibet Groups have launched a new report calling on world leaders to act urgently and robustly to confront China's disappearance of the Panchen Lama who was taken when he was just six years old.

"Today is the 23rd anniversary since the complete disappearance of Tibet's Panchen Lama and we still have no factual evidence of the fate of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima," said Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network. "It is a systematic failure by world governments for not holding China to account for their blatant disregard for his well-being." 

On 17 May 1995, six year old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama and Tibet's second most senior figure in Tibetan Buddhism, was 'removed' from his home by Chinese authorities. Since then, Chinese officials have consistently failed to provide information on his fate or whereabouts to world government officials or United Nations human rights experts.

For over two decades, China has hidden Gedhun Choekyi Nyima away, claiming he is leading a normal life and does not wish to be disturbed; but no proof of this has ever been provided and independent human rights experts have never been given the opportunity to visit him despite numerous requests.

Today's call for a renewed, robust approach is outlined in a new report that reveals that over the last 20 years, Chinese officials have done nothing more than issue a variety of different and misleading statements that have exacerbated concerns about the Panchen Lama's true whereabouts and well-being. The report highlights how, in 2000, a Chinese delegation showed two photographs to both EU and UK officials of a young boy, who apparently resembled the photograph of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima aged six; the boy in the photographs was captured playing table tennis and writing Chinese characters on a blackboard. It was impossible to determine the boy's identity or location in the pictures and neither the EU nor the UK were given copies of the photographs to verify.

"The EU and the UK made promises in 2000 that they would seek to obtain copies of these important photographs but these promises have simply been brushed under the carpet, and the Tibetan people are still waiting for answers," said Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at Tibet Society UK."We are now calling on the EU and the UK to reignite the strong call for tangible evidence of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima's well-being, rather than accepting at face value the hollow words given by Chinese officials."

Given that China showed officials photographs in the past, it is not unprecedented that they could provide tangible, date-verifiable evidence to the international community. Tibetans and Tibet groups are wholeheartedly urging that governments use these historic facts to hold China to account, to produce authenticated evidence of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima's whereabouts and safety.

"Just last week, delegates representing the Chinese government repeated claims to the Canadian Parliament that the Panchen Lama does not wish to be disturbed; no tangible evidence to substantiate these claims, or facts about his well-being, were provided," said Sherap Therchin of Canada Tibet Committee. "For over 20 years there has been total impunity for those responsible for the Panchen Lama's enforced disappearance. Governments who believe in the basic civil rights enshrined in the UN Declaration for Human Rights must take up the issue of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima without further delay." 

"China's behaviour has been contemptible and the international community must call them out at every opportunity," said Han Vandenabeele of LUNGTA - Actief voor Tibet. "Sadly the EU failed to obtain the only possible photographic evidence of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima in captivity back in 2000, but with the next EU-China summit scheduled to take place in the next months the EU must forcefully press China to produce new evidence of the 11th Panchen Lama's well-being and not simply be content with misleading statements".

Adding further insult to the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhists around the world, China selected another child to be its chosen 11th Panchen Lama. The selected child was Gyaltsen Norbu, born in February 1990. By installing its own Panchen Lama, China has applied enforced disappearance as a policy to control the cultural traditions and core beliefs of Tibet's reincarnation procedure and are attempting to exert their influence over the future leader of the Tibetan people; a measure that reveals the extent of China's agenda to undermine and weaken the authority of legitimate Tibetan religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama.

The report, 'Missing For Over 20 Years', outlines what world governments must call for, which includes:

● Provide tangible evidence about the well-being and specific whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima in the form of date-verifiable material.

● Allow independent access by a government or UN Special Procedures body to meet Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family.

● The immediate and unconditional release of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family, and a guarantee of their future safety.

Contacts: 
Gloria Montgomery, Tibet Society, UK | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)20 7923 0021
Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +91 98822 55516
Sherap Therchin, Canada Tibet Committee | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +1 613 483 5107
Han Vandenabeele, LUNGTA - Actief voor Tibet, Belgium | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +32 485 03 75 26
 

billboard

Over 80,000 have demanded that Liverpool FC owner John W. Henry cancels deal with Tibet Water due to human rights abuses

A campaign led by Tibet groups and international consumer group SumOfUs is raising awareness about the wide-ranging negative impacts of the partnership between Liverpool FC and the Chinese water company, Tibet Water Resources. This Sunday 14 January, before its match with Manchester City, a mobile billboard targeting owner John W. Henry will take to the streets of Liverpool, urging him to drop the controversial deal with Tibet Water. The ad will read:

‘’Under Chinese rule, Tibetans are beaten and tortured for their beliefs. John W. Henry: Your deal with Tibet Water legitimises the torture of Tibetans. Liverpool FC: Do we think this is okay?”
 

Tibetans, Tibet supporters and Liverpool FC fans will also hand out information to supporters before Liverpool FC’s match with Manchester City on Sunday.

  • What: Mobile billboard will be in Liverpool displaying message to fans arriving at match, calling out Liverpool FC's sponsorship deal with Tibet Water.
  • When: Sunday 14 January, 11 AM - 4 PM prior to the LFC v Manchester City match.
  • Where: Central Liverpool and the Soccerbus route (between Sandhills Station and Anfield).
  • Why: Campaigners will be engaging with fans heading to the match on this issue.
  • Who: Campaigners, fans and members of the local Tibetan community will attend.

The campaign has been running since July 2017, when Liverpool FC announced on its website that it had signed an agreement with Tibet Water Resources Limited, a Chinese company that extracts and bottles water from occupied Tibet (1).

 The campaign calls specifically on Liverpool FC's owner, John W. Henry, to terminate the deal due to Tibet Water’s presence in occupied Tibet, a scene of grave human rights violations after it was invaded by the Chinese army in 1950. A petitioncalling on Liverpool FC to scrap the deal has been backed by over 80,000 supporters (2).

Since the announcement of the agreement, Tibetans and Tibet advocacy organisations, including Free Tibet and Tibet Society, have repeatedly attempted to alert John W. Henry and Liverpool FC’s directors to the negative effects of a deal with a company exploiting resources in Tibet, which under Chinese occupation has become one of the most closed and repressive regimes on earth (3).

The deal, which makes Tibet Water Liverpool FC's official regional water partner in China, offers the company a range of promotional and marketing rights, which campaigners argue could also have negative impact on club’s international reputation.

In addition to contacting the club, Tibet organisations have attended Liverpool matches to hand out information to inform supporters about the deal. Liverpool FC fans have also contacted the club to express their concerns. Additionally, Liverpool FC supporters have contacted Free Tibet, pledging to get involved and to continue to push for the cancellation of the agreement.

Liverpool FC has taken a stand against human rights abuses in the past, including modern day slavery and human trafficking, by displaying a statement on their website that “recognises that the respect for human rights is an integral part of its social responsibility”. Updated in January 2018, the statement commits the club to “undertak[ing] increased levels of due diligence on all proposed third parties prior to entering into agreement with them” (8).

Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at Tibet Society, said:

“It is not enough to pay lip-service to human rights on one hand, while signing deals that undermine them on the other. Any meaningful claim by the directors of Liverpool FC to support human rights must be accompanied by concrete steps. Scrapping the deal with Tibet Water will signal that the club’s actions are consistent with the values it promotes, and that it is prepared to play its part in standing up for human rights. Its failure to do so is a stain on Liverpool FC’s global reputation. The international outcry over the partnership is a testament to the integrity of Liverpool FC fans, supporters and others who believe that the club should put the Tibetan people before profits.”

Sondhya Gupta, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs, said:

“It’s quite clear that thousands of people all over the world, including the club’s fans, don’t want Liverpool Football Club to be normalising the brutal Chinese regime in Tibet with this deal. Tibet Water owes its profits to the repression, torture and denial of basic political freedoms of the Tibetan people. Is that really something LFC wants to support?”

John Jones, Campaigns and Communications Manager at Free Tibet said:

“John W. Henry and Liverpool FC’s directors are now well aware of the objections to their dangerous deal. These objections come from Tibetans who want to protect their country and Liverpool fans who expect to see their club conduct itself ethically. As one of the largest and most prestigious names in the sport, Liverpool FC has a real chance now to set and example and show that human rights are more important than sponsorship deals. By scrapping this deal they can make a powerful stand that Liverpool FC will not tolerate any association with human rights abuses.”

Contacts

Gloria Montgomery, Tibet Society
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7923 0021

John Jones, Free Tibet
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +44 (0)207 324 4605

Mandie McKeown, International Tibet Network (Mandie will be in Liverpool with the mobile billboard on Sunday)
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +44 7748 158 618

Notes for editors

1. Liverpool FC's press release about the deal can be found here: http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/announcements/269478-lfc-announces-tibet-water-resources-ltd-partnership

2. The Tibet Society petition can be accessed here:  https://actions.tibetnetwork.org/tell-liverpool-fc-drop-its-sponsorship-deal-tibet-water-0?source=widget https://actions.sumofus.org/a/tell-liverpool-fc-to-drop-its-sponsorship-deal-with-tibet-water.  Free Tibet (http://freetibet.co.uk/liverpool-fc)  and SumOfUs (https://actions.sumofus.org/a/tell-liverpool-fc-to-drop-its-sponsorship-deal-with-tibet-water) have also been calling on their supporters to take action.

3. The US-based human rights and democracy organisation Freedom House ranks occupied Tibet as the second worst place in the world for political rights and civil liberties, behind only Syria. Their 2017 report is available at: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2017/tibet.  See also Amnesty International, Annual report 2016/2017 - The State of the World's Human Rights: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2017/02/amnesty-international-annual-report-201617  and Human Rights Watch, World Report 2017 - China and Tibet:, https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/china-and-tibet 

4. http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/first-team/130310-rush-launches-lfc-gallery-in-jakarta 

5. The podcast can be accessed here: https://theredmentv.com/2017/10/17/is-it-time-to-redefine-the-liverpool-way-liverpool-fc-podcast/   

6. Tibet Water is one of a number of Chinese water bottling companies operating in Tibet with the backing of the Chinese government. In 2014, under an initiative called “Sharing Tibet’s Water with the world”, the regional government of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) signed contracts with sixteen major companies to expand the water bottling industry in Tibet and, in November 2015, announced a new ten-year plan to expand the industry, with a target of 10 million tonnes of bottled water production by 2025. The expansion – a seventy-fold increase over the capacity in 2014 – is being incentivised with significant tax breaks to companies and a lower extraction fee for water than elsewhere in China.

7. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-rivers-asia/melting-mountains-put-millions-at-risk-in-asia-study-idUSTRE6594TG20100610

8. http://www.liverpoolfc.com/corporate/anti-slavery 

  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 and Campaigns, Gloria Montgomery at

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

+44 (0)20 7923 0021
London, UK.

MPs

Today 25 Members of Parliament [1] from across the United Kingdom and political spectrum have urgedLiverpool Football Club to scrap its controversial deal with Chinese company, Tibet Water Resources Limited.

The 25 MPs, which represent constituencies from as far North as Dundee and as far South as East Worthing and Shoreham, have called on the club to end its partnership and reaffirm its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. The deal, signed on 24 July 2017, saw Tibet Water become Liverpool FC's official regional water partner in China and offers the company a range of promotional and marketing rights. 

The 25 parliamentarians expressed their concern that the deal “is not consistent” with the values promoted in the club’s human rights framework and have called on Liverpool FC to ensure due diligence standards have been met and that its business partners commit to respecting human rights. In the letter, MPs also echoed the sentiment expressed by Tibet organisations that Tibet Water is only able to operate in Tibet as a result of the Chinese occupation and the human rights violations that uphold it and called on Liverpool FC “to terminate the agreement.” Tibet has today become one of the world’s most repressiveregimes. 

In occupied-Tibet, the Chinese government severely restricts all fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedoms of association, expression, and religion and Tibetans continue to face arbitrary arrest, torture and indefinite detention. Tibetan activists, writers and pro-democracy advocates remain subject to long terms of imprisonment under severe laws nominally drawn up to counter terrorism or cyber security.

MPs from the Liverpool area have also joined the campaign, including Stephen Twigg MP for Liverpool West Derby and Dan Carden MP for Liverpool Walton, who are understood to have written to the club expressing their concern about the partnership.  

Tibet advocacy groups in the UK have similarly written to John W. Henry and Liverpool FC’s directors to alert them to the negative effects of a deal with a company exploiting resources in Tibet - although over six months on, a response has yet to be received. 

Tibet organisations, including the International Tibet Network, Free Tibet and Tibet Society, as well as international consumer group SumOfUs, launched a campaign calling for an end to the deal in October 2017.  Nearly 90,000 people have since contacted Liverpool FC, urging them to end to their sponsorship with Tibet Water and stand up for the rights and freedoms of Tibetans.

Gloria Montgomery, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at Tibet Society, said:

“Today's backing from MPs shows that, along with Tibetans, Liverpool FC fans and other supporters, politicians from across the political spectrum care deeply about the Tibetan cause and are committed to ensuring brands and companies respect human rights when carrying out their business practices. Such a positive step is thanks to the tens of thousands of people who have supported the campaign calling on Liverpool FC to scrap the deal.”

John Jones, Campaigns and Communications Manager at Free Tibet said:

“Since Liverpool’s directors signed this dangerous deal last year, it has encountered strong opposition from Tibetans and Liverpool fans, who were aware of the risks it posed to their country and their club. We are delighted to see that they have been joined in their struggle by a bold, principled group of MPs, from Liverpool and around the UK. Their letter makes it clear that they firm in their belief that human rights must come before profits. Their voices must be listened to, and the deal dropped.”

Sondhya Gupta, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs, said:
 

“Liverpool FC needs to wake up to the fact that opposition to its deal with Tibet Water is growing. 25 MPs have now joined the nearly 90,000 people from all over the world who want to see Liverpool FC live up to its values on human rights. Fans don’t want to see their club lend legitimacy to the Chinese military occupation of Tibet by partnering with a corporation that owes its profits to the torture and repression of the Tibetan people. It’s high time John W Henry and Liverpool FC scrap this dreadful deal.”

More information on Liverpool FC’s deal with Tibet Water and ways to take action can be found here.

Contact:

Gloria Montgomery, Tibet Society | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)20 7923 0021
John Jones, Free Tibet | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)207 324 4605
Sondhya Gupta, SumOfUs | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)781 118 6937
Mandie McKeown, International Tibet Network | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +44 (0)7748 158 618

Notes to editors:

[1] Kerry McCarthy (Labour), Tim Loughton (Conservative), Chair of the APPG for Tibet Chris Law (SNP), Tom Brake (Liberal Democrat), Teresa Pearce (Labour), David Lammy (Labour), Dr David Drew (Labour), Stephen Kinnock (Labour), Daniel Zeichner (Labour), Stella Creasy (Labour), Jim Cunningham (Labour), Siobhain McDonagh (Labour), Nic Dakin (Labour), Alex Cunningham (Labour), Sir David Amess (Conservative), Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Darren Jones (Labour), Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (Labour), Helen Jones (Labour), Karen Lee (Labour), Sandy Martin (Labour), Alex Sobel (Labour), Joan Ryan (Labour), Lisa Nandy (Labour), Damien Moore (Conservative).

 


Tibet Society
2 Baltic Place
London
N1 5AQ
United Kingdom
info@tibetsociety.com
+44 (0)20 7923 0021

Patron:
 His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Note: We moved in July 2014. Any post sent to our old address on Fonthill Road will be redirected.



More News:  20172016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009

Support Tibet Society

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.