Olympic Watch: human rights in China and the Beijing 2008 Olympics OLYMPIC WATCHOLYMPIC WATCH

Stop EU-China arms sales, do not lift the embargo!

Olympic Watch has received information that the European Union is seriously considering lifting its embargo on arms exports to the People's Republic of China that it imposed in response to the Tiananmen massacre of 1989. We call on everybody who supports human rights of the Chinese and Tibetan people and peace in East Asia to send protest letters to the EU Member States' governments immediately. The issue will be discussed at the EU-China summit on 8 December and at the Euroepan Council on 16 December 2004.

Next time on Tiananmen: tanks from the EU?

Despite all its promises during its 2008 Olympics candidacy, the Beijing regime continues to grossly violate human rights of the people of mainland China and Tibet. It refuses to ratify and implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It has working relationships with other criminal governents, such as Burma, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan and it threatens to invade the democratic Taiwan. Lifting of the arms trade ban would be particularly cynical this year, as we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising and the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests, both brutally crushed by the same army that EU might soon be equipping with weapons.

Please write to EU foreign ministers, urging them to keep the arms embargo. We have attached the contact information of the ministers of the key Member States in this issue, together with a suggested text of the letter. Please keep your letters polite, friendly, and persuasive. Thank you.

Ms. Ursula Plassnik
fax: +43 (5) 01159-0
email (form): http://www.bmaa.gv.at/view.php3?f_id=1438&LNG=en&version=

Czech Republic:
Mr. Cyril Svoboda
fax: +420 224 182 041
email: ministr@mzv.cz

Mr. Per Stig Moeller
fax: +45 32 54 05 33
email: um@um.dk

Mr. Michel Barnier
fax: + 33 1 43 17 53 53
email (form): http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/courrier/default.asp?lang=gb

Mr. Joschka Fischer
fax: +49-30-5000-3402
email: poststelle@auswaertiges-amt.de

Mr. Gianfranco Fini
fax: +39 06.3236210
email: relazioni.pubblico@esteri.it

Mr. Bernard Bot
fax: +31 70 3484848
email: dvl-info@minbuza.nl

Mr. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz
fax: +48 22 253 9000
email: sm@msz.gov.pl

Mr. Eduard Kukan
fax: +421 2 5978 3009
email: infopublic@foreign.gov.sk

Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos Cuyabe
fax: +34 91 379 97 00
email: ministra@mae.es

United Kingdom:
Mr. Jack Straw
fax: +44 20 7008 1500
email: ministereurope@fco.gov.uk

Suggested text of letter:

Your Excellency,

I am concerned to hear that the European Union is about to consider lifting the embargo on arms trade with the People's Republic of China. I respectfully urge you to vote against such a move.

I believe lifting the ban would be premature, harmful, and outright cynical as:
  • This year, we have commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Tibetan people's uprising against the occupation by the Chinese communist army and the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen crimes against humanity that were never properly investigated or prosecuted and were perpetrated by the very army that EU would supply weapons to.
  • As you read this plea, the People's Republic of China is mounting its military threats against the democratic Republic of China on Taiwan. On the other hand, it maintains close working relations with many totalitarian governments, such as the ones of Burma, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan.
  • The Beijing regime continues to delay the ratification and implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The people of China are therefore not protected against similar brutal attacks by the "People's Liberation Army".
Your Excellency, I believe you will take all possible steps to prevent EU arms from hurting innocent people in China, Tibet, and Taiwan. I urge you to continue raising human rights concerns with the Beijing government and, in order to make Europe's stance effective, to maintain the arms trade ban until true reforms take place in China.


(name, address)

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