For Immediate Release
54 words not good enough
(Montreal, Thursday, 3 December 2009) – Fifty-four words dedicated to human rights out of a 1,557 word joint statement released this morning by the Prime Minister’s Office is simply too little in the face of China’s brutal human rights record, according to the Canada Tibet Committee (CTC).
“The 218 Tibetans who perished in last year’s predominantly peaceful uprising deserve better than 54 words from the Chinese government, the 1,381 Tibetans currently in jail awaiting trial from last year’s events deserve better, and six million Tibetans who risk imprisonment for seeking to worship freely deserve better from Canada,” said CTC executive director Dermod Travis today.
The CTC noted that of the over dozen subjects covered in the meetings only the current global economic and financial situation was described as an “in-depth” exchange. “Human rights should never be the after thought of such bilateral meetings, especially when it's the ‘elephant in the room’,” said Travis.
The CTC called on the Canadian government to detail the specifics of China’s commitment to “increased dialogue and exchanges on human rights, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to promote and protect human rights consistent with international human rights instruments."
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.
- 30 -
For more information:
Dermod Travis, Executive Director