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EU must condemn Tibetan death sentences during dialogue with China: FTC

May 15, 2009

May 14, 2009

Dharamsala, May 14 -- The Free Tibet Campaign has
urged the European Union to raise with China the
issue of "recent imposition of death penalty on
five Tibetans as well as China’s persistent
failure to account for the whereabouts of more
than 1000 Tibetans detained after last year’s
protests in Tibet and who are still missing." EU
officials will meet Chinese representatives today
in Prague for the 26th human rights dialogue in the Czech capital Prague.

While welcoming the dialogue with China, the
London based Non Governmental Organization, in a
press release issued yesterday, said the
participating EU officials must do much more than
simply use the opportunity as a forum for
resumption of constructive engagement with China.

The FTC urged the EU officials to "demand from
their Chinese counterparts that the death
sentences be quashed with immediate effect and
that any further cases related to protests in
Tibet in March and April 2008 should be suspended
until a full and independent inquiry into those
events, as called for by the UN Committee Against
Torture in November 2008, has been held."

China postponed the last summit scheduled to have
taken place in France in December 2008, citing
its opposition to a scheduled meeting between
French president Nicholas Sarkozy and the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama.

Director of the Free Tibet Campiagn, Stephanie
Brigden, said, EU officials have a vital
opportunity to express before their Chinese
counterparts their firm opposition to the death
sentences passed on the five Tibetans.

The meeting is expected to focus on two principal
areas, access to justice in China and Tibet, and
the rights of defendants in criminal proceedings
to legal defence; and protection for persons with disabilities.

"It would be unforgiveable in a dialogue
supposedly addressing shortcomings in the access
to justice for the EU not to make a strong
statement of concern about these very real death
sentences that were imposed in courts closed to
independent observers," said Brigden.
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