Protest lunch event at Westminster to precede Chinese President Xi’s UK visit

Westminster Palace.
Westminster Palace.

(, Oct17, 2015) – Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s much-trumpeted arrival in the UK on Oct 20 for a state visit, a protest lunch will be held in the country’s parliament to honour victims of human rights activism in China, Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang). Among those who will speak at or attend the event, themed as ‘Stateless Lunch’ and to be held on Oct 19, will be Fabian Hamilton, MP; David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch; and Representatives of international and UK-based human rights organizations.

The event will be hosted by Fabian Hamilton, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, to honour Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese human rights defenders who have been imprisoned and intimidated by the Chinese government, said the organizers in a press statement Oct 15.

Explaining the reason for holding the event, Hamilton has said: “The ‘Stateless Lunch’ is a statement of the concern of so many of us in Britain about this government’s approach to China, which is driven by commercial interests, with human rights being an irritating distraction to be ignored in public. It is in our interests as a country for (Prime Minister) David Cameron to publicly raise human rights as a priority with Xi Jinping, in the strongest possible terms. Engagement and trade links with China are important, but not at the expense of freedom and democracy.”

The event is being jointly organized by London-based Free Tibet; New York headquartered Human Rights Watch; Washington-headquartered International Campaign for Tibet; New York-headquartered Students for a Free Tibet; Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese Solidarity UK; and the Tibet Society.

There will also be a Roundtable Discussion on the Current State of China-UK Relations in the University of Westminster. It will be hosted by Dr Dibyesh Anand, Head of the university’s Department of Politics and International Relations.


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