Phuntsog Nyidrol makes empassioned plea to Gordon Brown

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Free Tibet Campaign has written to Gordon Brown in advance of his first trip to China as Prime Minister later this week. Its letter calls on the Prime Minister to condemn China's "systemic repression and abuses of human rights in Tibet and throughout China" in the same way that he has recently taken "such strong stands on countries such as Burma and Zimbabwe".

The letter also refers the Prime Minister to a statement made to the UK Parliament in March 2007 by then Foreign Office Minister Ian McCartney. McCartney's statement said that the Dalai Lama, during his scheduled visit to Britain in May 2008, "could... have discussions about a range of issues with senior Ministers, including the Prime Minister." Noting recent high-profile meetings between the Dalai Lama and US President George Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and then Australian Prime Minister John Howard (all leaders of countries with significant trade relations with China) the letter calls on Brown to demonstrate similar defiance of China's threats about meetings with the Dalai Lama and to "formally announce a meeting with the Dalai Lama as soon as possible".

Free Tibet Campaign's letter, sent last week, has been followed by an impassioned video appeal to Brown, also uploaded on to YouTube, by Tibetan nun and former political prisoner, Phuntsog Nyidron. In the YouTube appeal the 1995 Reebok Human Rights Award winner urges Brown to use his influence during his trip to China to secure meaningful face-to-face negotiations between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government. Phuntsog Nyidron's video appeal can be viewed here.

Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: "Last year Gordon Brown rightly condemned the Burmese government's repression of Burmese monks. To be consistent he must now publicly condemn China's equally repressive behaviour in Tibet where monasteries were surrounded by Chinese troops last October and where monks and nuns are routinely forced to denounce the Dalai Lama. Public silence on China's brutal occupation of Tibet will only embolden China to act with ever greater impunity."

Notes:

The full version of Free Tibet Campaign's letter to Gordon Brown is available on request.
For further information please contact Matt Whitticase at matt@freetibet.org
Or call on +44 (0) 207 324 4605/+44 (0)7515 788456