Human Rights Defenders to speak at Parliament prior to State Visit

Prior to the Chinese President’s State Visit to the UK, ‘Stateless Lunch’ to be held in Parliament for Human Rights Defenders

Event: ‘Stateless Lunch’
Date: 1.30 – 2.30pm, Monday 19 October 2015
Location: IPU Room, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Paul Golding (Tibet Society): 0207 923 0021,
Padma Dolma (Students for a Free Tibet): 07974 249 260,,

On the day before China’s President Xi Jinping begins his State Visit to the UK, Fabian Hamilton MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, will host a ‘Stateless Lunch’ to honour Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese human rights defenders who have been imprisoned and intimidated by the Chinese government.

Details of speakers and attendees:
• Fabian Hamilton MP
• Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese Human Rights Defenders: Rahima Mahmut, Shao Jiang (more tbc)
• David Mepham, UK Director, Human Rights Watch
• Representatives of international and UK-based human rights organisations will be available to interview

Fabian Hamilton MP said, “I am honoured to host Tibetans, Uyghurs and Chinese individuals who will share stories of courage, highlighting the oppression in China today under Xi Jinping. The ‘Stateless Lunch’ is a statement of the concern of so many of us in Britain about this government’s approach to China, which is driven by commercial interests, with human rights being an irritating distraction to be ignored in public. It is in our interests as a country for David Cameron to publicly raise human rights as a priority with Xi Jinping, in the strongest possible terms. Engagement and trade links with China are important, but not at the expense of freedom and democracy.”

Since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, China has intensified its abuse of human rights, jailing human rights defenders, increasing censorship, clamping down on free expression and targeting Tibetans, Muslim Uyghurs and Chinese Christians.

The increased denial of human rights in China has coincided with deep reluctance of the UK government to challenge China to address sensitive issues such as Tibet. Most recently, Chancellor George Osborne failed to make any statement defending human rights on his recent five-day visit to China and the troubled region of Xinjiang.

Event supported by: Free Tibet, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Uyghur and Chinese Solidarity UK and Tibet Society