April 8, 2011
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

Rights group urges top US official to raise Tibet’s case during Beijing visit[Thursday, 7 April 2011, 3:11 p.m.]


DHARAMSHALA:
A prominent human rights group based in the US has called on the top
American diplomatic to East Asia to make human rights a priority during
his visit to Beijing on 7 April 2011. In a letter to US
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt
Campbell, Washington DC-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
President Mary Beth Markey requests that he “make a strong statement on
the current crackdown and deterioration in the human rights situation
in China and Tibet.”Assistant Secretary Campbell is visiting
Beijing on 7 April to meet with Chinese officials in preparation for
the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, high-level bilateral talks to be
held in May in Washington.The letter cites cases of Tibetans
resorting to desperate measures to call the attention of the
international community to their plight, including a young monk who set
himself on fire in March to protest Chinese policies, and two other
monks who died in the last two weeks as the result of torture suffered
in Chinese detention.In this context, ICT wrote that “the
posture of the Administration on human rights at the upcoming Strategic
and Economic Dialogue is critically important. Human rights must be a
dedicated priority on the agenda of the dialogue. To do less would not
only send a terrible signal to those inside China and Tibet struggling
to defend their basic rights, but also undermine the potency of the
President’s words [on human rights at the summit with President Hu
Jintao] in January.”ICT’s appeal comes as the human rights
situation in China and Tibet is deteriorating. The arrest of artist Ai
Weiwei has become the latest and perhaps highest profile in a trend of
disappearances and detentions in China in recent weeks. Likewise,
Tibetan writers, intellectuals, singers, artists and civil society
leaders are being systematically targeted, detained and prosecuted for
their work, as ICT has documented (“A ‘Raging Storm’: the crackdown on
Tibetan writers and artists after Tibet’s Spring 2008 protests, ICT,
May 18, 2010),” the group said in a statement.

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