Tibetan activists protest against Xi's visit to Europe over human rights abuses in Tibet

Tibetan activists Tselha and Nyima protested against President Xi Jinping's visit to France on May 4, 2024. (Photo:file)

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Paris – Tibetan activists from Students for a Free Tibet protested against Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Europe. They call on President Macron and all European leaders to take a firm stand against China's human rights violations, genocidal policies and illegal occupation of Tibet by China, and put pressure on Xi to resume dialogue between Tibet and China.

Tibetan activists Tselha and Nyima protested against President Xi Jinping's visit to France on May 4, 2024, ahead of Xi's visit to Paris on May 5, 2024, by climbing the lampposts of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and unfurling a banner in French saying ‘Dictator Xi Jinping, your time is up’ and hanging the Tibetan national flag and waving flag hawks. The Chinese government has banned Tibetans from flying the Tibetan flag, threatening them with arrest and even torture. The protest lasted over an hour despite a heavy police presence at the scene. The two Tibetan activists came down from the lampposts at around 9am and were taken away by the police. They were held for 10 hours before being released.

The Tibetan protestor Tsela Zoksang said, “Under Xi Jinping, the situation in Tibet has rapidly deteriorated. It is now a crime to be a Tibetan inside of Tibet. But rather than treating Xi like the dictator he is, President Macron is rolling out the red carpet for him. To avoid complicity in China’s grotesque human rights abuses and genocide, Europe must reject the normalization of Xi's genocidal regime and push their leaders to call for a Free Tibet.”

The Tibetan activist Nyima Lama said, "Doing business with China often means being complicit in Xi Jinping's bloody crimes. I took action today because Macron and Xi are reportedly discussing green technology, such as solar panels and EVs. But we know that Xi is forcing tens of thousands of Tibetans from their ancestral homes, threatening historic monasteries in the name of renewable energy infrastructure. I call on President Macron and the French people to refuse collaboration with Xi Jinping and support the human rights of the Tibetan people.”

When Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Paris on May 5, 2024, more than 4,000 Tibetans from ten European countries protested against Xi Jinping's cruel policies towards Tibetans and the Tibetan environment. They also protested against the serious violations of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of education and freedom of movement committed by the Chinese government against Tibetans inside Tibet, as well as against the placement of more than one million Tibetan children in Chinese colonial schools, which forcibly separate them from their families, language, traditions and religion and aim to eliminate Tibetan identity.