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<-Back to WTN Archives Rights groups want abuses raised during Chinese president's visit (AFP)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Friday, January 23, 2004

2. Rights groups want abuses raised during Chinese president's visit (AFP)

by Nicolas Gaudichet

PARIS, Jan 22 (AFP) - Human rights groups in Paris expressed their
dismay Thursday that issues such as Tibet, the death penalty and the
Falungong movement have been left off the agenda for Chinese President
Hu Jintao's visit to France next week.

"There has to be coherence between words and deeds. French leaders love
to remind us that France is the country of human rights, so the very
least they can do is raise the matter," said Francis Perrin, president
of the French branch of Amnesty International.

"We would love it if the French authorities passed the message, but
frankly I am not confident. Some of our leaders claim to be able to
detect signs of progress in human rights. They must have excellent
eye-sight -- double vision, you could almost say," Perrin said.

"In terms of laws and directives, the changes have been much more in the
commercial than in the penal sector," he said.

Two public protests are being planned against Hu's visit, whose four day
state visit from Monday is timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The first is planned outside the Pompidou arts centre in Paris on
Saturday morning, and the second on Tuesday afternoon will coincide with
a speech Hu is to give before the National Assembly.

Lionnel Luca, a member of President Jacques Chirac's Union for a Popular
Movement (UMP) party who chairs a Tibet working group at the Assembly,
said he would boycott the adddress and planned to hand over a petition
asking Hu to commute the death sentence passed on Tibetan monk Tensin
Deleg Rinpoche.

Rinpoche, 52, was convicted of engaging in a series of bomb blasts in
southwestern China's Sichuan province. His appeal was rejected a year
ago, but his sentence was given a two-year reprieve, which could mean it
will be commuted to life imprisonment.

Christophe Cunniet of the group France-Tibet said next week's visit
would coincide with the first anniversary of the execution of Rinpoche's
colleague Lobsang Dhondup, and he pointed out that Hu was in Tibet
during the bloody suppression of anti-Chinese demonstrations in 1989.

"Some 70 percent of executions in the entire world take place in China,
and the time between convictions and executions gets shorter and
shorter," said Michel Taube of "Together Against the Death Penalty."
Amnesty International compiled a list of around 1,000 executions for
2002 but believes the number is much higher.

"The memory of French politicians is short. They are acting as if
everything was resolved after the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989,"
said Marie Holzman, president of Solidarity China.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Chinese War on Terror Hits Religious Freedom in Tibet (OW)
  2. Rights groups want abuses raised during Chinese president's visit (AFP)
  3. Brutal Treatment Reportedly Awaits Repatriated Tibetans (ICT)
  4. Thai groups battle new China dam (BBC)
  5. Tibetan Rights Activist Yeshi Gyatso Dies at 71 (AP)

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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