Demonstration Announcement: June 2 (Brussels, Belgium)

World Uyghur Congress, 31 May 2017

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) will participate in a rally in cooperation with the International Campaign for Tibet and a number of other NGOs taking place on June 2, 10:30 –12:00 at Schuman Circle, Brussels. The demonstration will bring together members of the Uyghur and Tibetan communities along with representatives from European Parliament, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights.

The WUC as well as a number of other NGOs and activists have already raised strong concerns about the talks and urged leaders including European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to substantively raise the worsening human rights situation in China with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his delegation.

Fourteen European Parliamentarians representing six political groups and eleven countries have called on the EU and its member states to “pursue a more ambitious, united and transparent policy with regard to human rights in China that is part of a larger strategy for change, and insist on maintaining a regular, high-level and result-oriented human rights dialogue.”

In an open letter led by Human Rights Watch, 16 NGOs, including the WUC, urged EU leaders to “use that occasion to lead the EU and its member states in demonstrating unified and unambiguous commitment to promoting human rights in China.”

The EU’s Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy sets out guiding principles with regards to foreign policy, outlining the fact that the EU is founded upon the shared principles of “respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.” In addition, the document sets out the intention of the EU to “promote human rights in all areas of its external action without exception.”

It is discouraging that in past dialogues, the EU has done little beyond paying lip service to China’s gross human rights violations across the country. Living up to the principles that undergird the EU’s approach to international relations requires a sustained and substantive commitment to the citizens who are ostensibly represented at these high level meetings.

Demonstrators will gather at 10:30 at the Schuman roundabout. For further information and more details on the programme, please contact Vincent Metten at info@savetibet.eu or +32 2 609 44 10.