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China: Human Rights

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue meeting of 12 to 13 January was, with specific reference to Tibet; and if he will make a statement. (249326)

Issues discussed at the recent human rights dialogue included China’s co-operation with international human rights mechanisms, the death penalty, reform of the administrative detention system, religious freedom in Xinjiang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea border-crossers and freedom of expression. We held detailed discussions on disability and mental health issues, and the role of the prosecutor in the UK and China in upholding defendants’ rights. We welcomed the decision to make permanent more liberal regulations on foreign journalists, but also raised our concerns about the continued detention of a signatory of charter 08. We handed over a list of 50 other individual cases and asked for further information about these. We urged China to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture and to issue open invitations to UN Special Rapporteurs to visit China. With reference to Tibet, we made clear that we remain concerned about the apparent lack of due process for those in detention in Tibet, restrictions on freedom of religion and lack of transparency. We urged renewed dialogue between the Chinese Government and representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve the underlying issues, and pressed for agreements on visits by foreign journalists and diplomats.