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Arrest & detention of Mandie McKeown in Beijing

August 24, 2008

Imprisoned for 10 days without trial
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tibet Society

London UK, Friday 22 August. 2008

British citizen, Mandie McKeown, was arrested in Beijing on Wednesday
for filming three people unfurling a Tibet flag. Mandie is a
consultant for the Tibet Society and we are obviously extremely
concerned about her well being. It has now been confirmed that the
Beijing police will be holding her in detention for a further 10 days
under an apparent provision whereby they can mete out "administrative
detentions" without recourse to any hearing, legal representation by
the defendant or trial.

With Gordon Brown in Beijing for the closing ceremony of the Olympics
and in the light of his recent comments that engagement with China
"is not at the expense of human rights. It is integral to their
promotion," the Tibet Society would expect and hope that he will
speak out on behalf of Mandie and condemn this flagrant denial of
freedom of expression. The actions of the Beijing police gives a
salutary and frightening glimpse into the complete lack of due legal
processes that exist in China and it is a damning indictment of the
climate of repression that continues to exist, despite the hosting of
the Olympics and the much touted promises made on human rights and
media freedoms to the International Olympic Committee.

The Society has written to the Foreign office asking:

* that the Prime Minister calls for the immediate release of British
citizen Mandie McKeown and that he will remain in Beijing until this
matter is resolved

* that representations be made to the Chinese government regarding
the lack of due legal processes and civil rights that has been
suffered by a British citizen

* if  the British government will be making a formal complaint to the
Chinese government about its treatment of a British subject

* If, following from the Prime Minister's comments on  the importance
of human rights, freedom of expression and rule of law in China, the
Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary will be making a public statement
to denounce this abuse of human and civil rights

Tibet Society Council member, Fabian Hamilton, MP, whilst not being
surprised by the Chinese police's response is nonetheless damning
about the incident:  "I am appalled than anyone should be arrested
and sentenced to imprisonment without trial simply for speaking out
about Tibet. This just shows the other face of China which their
authorities don't want us to see. There is clearly no democracy, no
freedom of speech and no rule of law in China and it's about time we
spoke out and made our views known. Nobody should be treated in this
way, let alone a British Citizen."

For background / further information contact:

Philippa Carrick, Chief Executive Tibet Society:  020 7272 1414 /
07941 105485  email: philippa@tibetsociety.com
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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