Brussels, 13th December 2010.
Report on the international peaceful demonstration for Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights on 10th December 2010 in Brussels (Belgium).
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, a coalition of United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT), the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Belgium (RTYC Belgium) and the Free China from CCP Alliance Europe has organized an international peaceful demonstration for Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights (FDHR) on December 10 in Brussels, Belgium.
In front of the European Council, representatives of the coalition made an impressive statement to highlight the imprisonment of thousands of prisoners of conscience in China, Tibet and other dictatorial regimes. And later, the coalition made a freedom march for human rights to the Chinese embassy, followed by a demonstration there. 45 people participated in this action of which 10 westerners.
Dennis Barbion, UNFFT Belgium and board member of the Free China from CCP Alliance Europe, made a welcome speech and asked for one minute of silence “to commemorate all the victims of dictatorial regimes who have died, who are still imprisoned or who suffer in another way.”
Meanwhile he gave more information about this action that will be held on December 10 each year. “We are gathered here today out of concern for human rights. People of several nationalities, countries and religions are here together now. Our common interest for human rights has brought us together. The human rights issue has nothing to do with nationalities nor religions but with humanity in general.”
“It’s almost unbelievable that in this 21st century, millions of people are still not free and suffer from the lack of respect for human rights. Anyone should be free to express his opinion, to practice his religion freely, to travel where he wants and to have an education in his own language. The reason for this demonstration is to bring the human rights issue in the attention.”
In this December 10, the coalition called for an appeal to the Chinese leaders to release the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, his wife who is under house arrest, the Tibetan film maker Dhondup Wangchen, the Chinese Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and the 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima.
“We ask to release Liu Xiaobo immediately and unconditionally as he has not committed any crime. He has used his rights, rights that are mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the Chinese government has approved.”
“The trial of Dhondup Wangchen, the maker of ‘Leaving fear behind’ was helt in secret and he was denied access to a lawyer of his choice.”
“Gao Zhisheng, who was already nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice, in 2008 and this year. has been repeatedly kidnapped, arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese authorities, and since 21st April he’s still missing again.”
“Gendun Choekyi Nyima is the only real 11th Panchen Lama.” In 1995 he was kidnapped by the Chinese authorities at the age of 6, shortly after he was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Until now nothing is known about his whereabouts.
A special tribute was held to some other very important Nobel Peace Prize Winners. “His Holiness the Dalai won the Nobel Prize in 1989 for his tremendous efforts in the non-violent struggle for freedom in Tibet. He’s a big inspiration for many people, not only Tibetans and Buddhists, but for humanity in general. His ideas and advice go beyond nations, nationalities and religions.” Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democratic Party won the Nobel Prize in 1991. She was detained under house arrest from 1989 until 13th November 2010. “Let’s continue our support for her and for democracy in Burma as well.”
“We don’t forget all the other people who are oppressed: the Uyghur people, the Falun Gong in China, people in Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan… This list is far too long.”
The speech ended with an appeal to all the groups and organizations to work together and to support each other and each others actions in the future. “It’s very meaningful to have a good understanding with, and respect for each other.” “Unity and solidarity are the key words in our action today: we are united now as we share our common concern for human rights, and we also stand in solidarity with each other. We believe this is very important.”
The second speaker was Mrs. Mona Zhimin Tang, a Chinese human rights activist who was born in Beijing and participated in the student protests at the Tienanman Square in 1989. Mona is a board member of the Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Society Europe (a Chinese-Tibetan friendship organization) and the Free China from CCP Alliance Europe. The Free China Alliance is a coalition with representatives of several organizations who struggle for human rights and freedom in China.
Mrs. Zhimin Tang described what she has experienced since the student protests in 1989. She was kidnapped several times by the Chinese authorities. “When I was kidnapped by the Chinese Security Police in 2005, I had to sign a contract in which I stated that I would not support the Dalai Lama, that I would not support the Falun Gong, that I would not support Taiwan, that I would not support the Uyghur people and that I would not fight against the CCP. Now I stand here today and I say loud and clearly, and especially to the Chinese Communist goverment: I do support the Dalai Lama! I do support the Falun Gong! I do support Taiwan! I do support the Uyghur, and I do support everyone who struggles against the CCP in order to get freedom! Damn CCP!”
Mrs. Zhimin Tang also warned the Western politicians and businessmen to think again about their coorperation with the CCP, “because the People’s Republic of China is the Chinese Communist Party and it’s not China. The Chinese communist leaders are not representative for the Chinese citizens.” Mona stated: “Do not help the CCP persecuting the Chinese people, please choose to support the Chinese people.” “Repeatedly I have been threatened. I’m not against China, I’m for freedom and human rights and the CCP is responsable for this.” “I also want the world to know that the Tibetan issue is not only political. It is more than that. In fact it’s an issue of freedom of belief, because the CCP misuses China and the Chinese people to destroy the belief in Buddha!”
The Free China from CCP Alliance Europe has organized a petition for the release of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo. You can sign the petition online:http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/freeliuxiaobo/. All the signatures will be submitted to the European Parliament in Brussels with the Chinese New Year 2011 (3rd February 2011).
Afterwards, Karma Tsering, the President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, held a short speech in Tibetan. “Today is Human Rights Day. This is a very important day. There are no human rights in China and Tibet. In Tibet it’s even much more worse. Today, this demonstration is organized by three groups. The permission has been arranged quickly and long time before. We have sent lots of announcements about this action and enough in advance. Therefore it’s very sad and even shameful that not so much Tibetan people came today. Human rights are so important for Tibet. We appreciate that quite some Belgian Tibet supporters came today, even some elderly people, for which we are happy and very thankful. There should have been much more Tibetan people here today. Human rights in Tibet are too important.”
Mr. Tashi Wangdi, the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet in Brussels, once planned to join the demonstration and to give a speech as well, but he couldn’t come to Brussels as he was still in Paris. He wrote to the organizers that he supported this action and sent his best regards and apologies, and he wished them good luck and a good participation.
Some Belgian politicians also sent supportive messages but couldn’t participate because of their busy schedule. Before the demonstration, several Chinese people expressed their support too, but didn’t dare to come to the demonstration as they were afraid. Dennis Barbion stated: “This shows how important it is to continue our actions in the future.”
After the speeches there was a freedom march for human rights to the Chinese embassy in Brussels, where a group of 30 people demonstrated for one full hour. Leaflets with the text of the press release were handed over to passers-by and on the way to the Chinese embassy quite some people expressed their support to the participants.
The following slogans were shouted: “We want freedom”, “Respect for human rights”, “Hu Jintao, free Tibet now”, “CCP is not China”, “Stop killing in Tibet”, “Shame shame, China shame”, “Free Tibet, save Tibet”, “What we want, we want freedom”, “Release release Panchen Lama, release release Liu Xiaobo”, “Long live Dalai Lama” and “UNO, we want justice”.
In the freedom march, a big banner was carried with the text: “Support democracy in China for World Peace”, and placards as: “Free Liu Xiaobo, Free Tibetan Heroes”, “Freedom of language” and “Free Tibet”.
The demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy was because:
The demonstration was ended with the Tibetan National Anthem at 4 p.m. Then, Mona Zhimin Tang and Dennis Barbion sent an envelop into the mailbox of the Chinese embassy with a cd of 150,000 signatures of a worldwide petition for the release of Gao Zhisheng.
We believe that the message for respect for human rights and freedom has been sent out, together with the appeal for solidarity and cooperation, to call on governments to respect the rights protected by international human rights law.