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Tibet groups join call on Canadian PM to discuss human rights during China visit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. (Photo courtesy: Reuters/Chris Wattie)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. (Photo courtesy: Reuters/Chris Wattie)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec01, 2017) – Tibet campaign groups have joined a coalition of 15 human rights groups to urge Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to put human rights at the “top of his agenda” during his Dec 3-7 visit to China, according to ipolitics.ca Nov 30.

The report said the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China had issued an open letter, demanding that Trudeau “rigorously” pursue human rights protections in his discussions related to trade and to firmly call for the release of “prisoners of conscience” including 16 individuals with close Canadian connections. There was also another list of 13 individuals whose “plight is emblematic of the persecution faced by minorities and human rights defenders in China.”

The report said the letter called on Trudeau to ensure that “focused attention and top priority is given to the human rights impacts of any expanded trading relationship between the two countries, and repeats its demand that any future trade pact must be subjected to human rights assessments before finalization and at regular intervals thereafter.”

The report said the letter had been endorsed by Amnesty International Canada, Canada-Hong Kong Link, Canada Tibet Committee, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Falun Dafa Association of Canada, Federation for a Democratic China, Students for a Free Tibet Canada, Toronto Association for Democracy in China, the Uyghur Canadian Society and the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement in China.

A press release from Trudeau’s office announcing the details of the trip was cited as saying Canada was committed to a stronger relationship with China, “one that strengthens and grows the middle class, and is based on regular, frank, and comprehensive dialogue, including on issues like good governance, human rights, and the rule of law.”

The report said Trudeau will first go to Beijing where he will meet Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping. He will then visit the city of Guangzhou where he’ll give the keynote speech at a global business conference and meet with business leaders about trade and investment, the report added.

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