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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Anna Lo's son may face charges over the Tibet protest

April 8, 2008

Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom
Monday, April 07, 2008

The son of an Assembly member is facing potential charges after being
arrested in London as part of protests over China's human rights abuses
in Tibet.

Former UK student of the year Conall Hon Watson helped preparations for
the protest after abseiling down Westminster Bridge and hanging a huge
'Free Tibet' banner.

Back in Belfast, his mother, Alliance party MLA Anna Lo, worried her
eldest son was going to spend his 26th birthday in a Charing Cross
prison cell.

The South Belfast MLA was addressing a Samaritans conference in
Londonderry on Saturday afternoon when the call that Conall had been
arrested came - and switched her mobile off.

But later, watching the dramatic television pictures of the protest
banner being unfurled, she recognised her son from his trousers and

"I was glad he was wearing a helmet," Ms Lo said today, admitting she
was concerned for his safety, "but he is a very sensible and intelligent

"I am extremely proud of him, he is a very empathetic young man, but its
important that people understand both he and I have nothing against the
Chinese people but against the Chinese government."

Ms Lo's younger son, Owen, 23 today, also took part with Conall in
yesterday's demonstration which saw a further 37 arrests during clashes
between police and protesters as the Olympic flame was being brought
through the capital.

And the senior Alliance party member admitted she also participated with
her offspring in a similar protest march last month, and afterwards
wrote to both Gordon Brown and the Chinese ambassador, Madame Fu Ying,
urging contact with the Dalai Lama, who visits the United Kingdom next

"I think we now have a window of opportunity if protests like yesterday
- of course the Chinese people themselves will not be allowed to see
them, but they will be seen in Chinese embassies across the world - can
keep the pressure on.

"Having previously said he would not meet the Dalai Lama, Mr Brown has
now confirmed he will do so and I hope I played a small part in
persuading him," she added.

Since Saturday Ms Lo has spoken several times to Conall, who joined the
Free Tibet student movement as an undergraduate in Nottingham and was
named 2004 student of the year for his work with students unions.

"I was concerned he was going to spend his 26th birthday yesterday in a
prison cell but I had no worries about how he would be treated by the
police, " the MLA added.

He has, however, to adhere to bail conditions not to enter the precincts
of Westminster.
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