For Immediate Release
Harper must postpone rumoured China visit
(Montreal, 22 October 2009) – The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) is calling on Prime Minister Harper to postpone his long rumoured visit to China in protest over Tuesday’s execution by Chinese authorities of four Tibetans allegedly implicated in last year’s uprising in Tibet.
Lobsang Gyaltsen, Loyak, Penkyid and a Tibetan from the Ramoche area were executed in Toelung, near Lhasa on October 20th.
“Canada can’t stand up for human rights when Beijing sees us on our knees begging for trade,” said CTC executive director Dermod Travis. “Today the Harper government has a choice between kowtowing to the modus operandi of the Beijing regime or defining a new relationship with China based on a multifaceted approach that puts human rights at the core of our relations.”
According to local sources, Lobsang Gyaltsen's body and Loyak's ashes were handed over to their families. Lobsang's body was later thrown in Kyichu River by his wife. His family is too poor to afford religious prayers for the deceased. Loyak, arrested on March 15, 2008, was 22.
Lobsang and Loyak were sentenced on April 3, 2009 by Lhasa People's Court. All four Tibetans are alleged to have participated in the 2008 mass uprising against the Chinese regime.
Over thirteen hundred Tibetans remain in jail, many awaiting trial, following the 2008 uprising. Based upon the trials to date, it is likely that each will be denied due process, the right to independent counsel and a fair and open trial.
According to a 2009 report by Amnesty International, China executed more citizens than all other countries combined with 1,718 executions or three quarters of the worldwide total in 2008.
The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organisation of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.
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For more information:
CTC Executive Director