Free Tibet chief executive speaks at Uyghur solidarity protest

7th August 2020

Free Tibet supported a Uyghur solidarity protest outside the Chinese Embassy where Chief Executive Sam Walton called for those oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party to work together.

Free Tibet went to a Uyghur solidarity protest outside the Chinese Embassy in London on Wednesday to support the Uyghur people who like Tibetans are suffering human rights abuses under Chinese rule.

The 5 August event was organised by the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign and was part of a set of recurring protests which are due to happen on the 5th of each month. The protest had been running before the coronavirus crisis lockdown.

The chief executive of Free Tibet, Sam Walton spoke to the estimated one hundred protesters at the event outside the Chinese Embassy following a speech by the UK project director for the World Uyghur Congress, Rahima Mahmut.

“I’ll be very brief because we’re obviously here to support the Uyghurs today. I’m the chief executive of Free Tibet, and we’re here to offer our unconditional solidarity to the Uyghur movement here in London and across the world,” Walton said.

“We are fighting the same cause, there’s similar human rights abuses being perpetrated… we want to stand alongside you [the Uyghurs]. Our enemy is not the Chinese people; our enemy is the Chinese Communist Party.”

Walton called for groups at the protest to work together to free the Uyghurs, free Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and end the human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party.

Free Tibet chief executive, Sam Walton speaking at Uyghur solidarity protest. London. 5 August 2020.

Free Tibet team members and supporters were also there to support the Uyghurs alongside Brits for Uyghurs, Jews for Uyghurs, and other groups. 

Rachel, a protestor at the event who chose to keep her surname anonymous told Free Tibet that China’s sterilisation of people was “ridiculous” and said the UK government is not doing enough.

Uyghur Protest. London. 5 August 2020.

“I’m actually a Hong Konger… I think there are many people in the west who don’t understand that the Chinese can be imperialistic for other people, and that’s what’s happening,” she added.

A Tibetan protester at the solidarity event, Phurbu Thakchoe said she was there because Tibetans have “no freedom” and the same thing is happening to the Uyghurs. 

Chen Quanguo, Communist Party secretary for the so called Tibet Autonomous Region from 2011 to 2016, oversaw a rise in surveillance there during that time and is now the party secretary for Xinjiang where the "re-education” camps have been built.

Walton said, “We have the same oppressor, the Chinese Communist Party. And we’re here today to make a common cause and to fight alongside the Uyghurs for human rights, for dignity and for self determination.”


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