“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Mean While Else Where?

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Wen Jiabao is visiting the UK to deliver a Rede lecture and will surely have an opportunity to glad-hand some of New Labour’s finest, in around of mutually advantageous discussions, one dictatorship’s club to another set of control freaks?

But I doubt the topic of the missing 1,000 Tibetans will come up, Gordon Brown is unlikely to mention the human right’s of poor Tibetans lest he offend China’s PM and ruin business relations.

AI reported in December 2008 that:

“Tibetan former monk Nami Jhaba was detained by police on 19 April 2008, and has been held incommunicado since then. Police recently returned some of his possessions to his family, and he is therefore believed to be in danger of torture and other ill-treatment.”

Widespread protests are expected:

“The UK government has made some critical statements about China, but not as much as campaigners would like.

Last week, it published its four-year strategy on China, which said: “We will be candid and honest should we disagree – on issues such as human rights, for example.”

But activists say the situation within China is not improving.

The Amnesty International website has once again been blocked inside mainland China, as are sites collecting signatures for Charter 08, a petition by academics and human rights activists calling for legal and political reform.

Search terms such as ‘freedom’, ‘human rights’, and ‘Tibet’ are filtered to censor websites.

Internet users have allegedly been imprisoned after unfair trials, often on vaguely defined charges such as subversion or leaking state secrets.

“Chinese people have as much right to free speech and access to information as everyone else, and their government should respect this,” Ms Allen added.

“This includes making up their own minds about what we are saying on the Amnesty website.”

Defence lawyers, journalists, HIV/Aids activists, workers’ rights activists, villagers protesting against land seizures, and relatives of people killed or disabled during the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement are also regularly imprisoned.

China also retains the questionable distinction of executing more people per year than any other country in the world. In 2007, at least 470 people were killed, although with real figures a closely held secret, that number is liable to be far higher.

2009 sees a resurgent activist movement build on the demonstrations which took place around the world following the torch relay before the Olympic Games last year.

It is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Republic and the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising.

Free Tibet activists, who are organising the vast majority of protests this weekend, say the situation in the region remains grave.

Many areas of Tibet still remain under de facto martial law with an open military presence in many Tibetan towns.

The whereabouts of 1,000 Tibetans detained on charges relating to protests still remain unaccounted for by the Chinese government. “

Go on, be a bit radical or even revolutionary, follow it all at Free Tibet.

Written by modernityblog

31/01/2009 at 01:48

Posted in Uncategorized

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