Locke suggests human rights issues for Clark to raise

Green MP Keith Locke has suggested some specific human rights issues for Helen Clark to bring up during talks in Beijing, which begin tomorrow with the signing of a free trade agreement.

“I am glad Helen Clark has agreed to bring up ‘human rights issues’ with China’s leaders during her talks in Beijing.” Mr Locke, the party’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson.

“Clearly, a general comment in private, that New Zealand is a bit concerned about human rights, will not suffice.

“The Greens suggest the following specific requests of the Chinese government.

“Firstly, that they should let the free media and independent investigators into Tibet so that the world can find out what is really happening. There should be no recriminations on any Tibetan talking to journalists or human rights monitors.

“Secondly, the government should stop the arbitrary arrest of any Tibetan who dares to protest, and it should release all prisoners of conscience from Tibet’s jails.

“Thirdly, that it should stop disparaging the Dalai Lama, the recognised leader of the Tibetan people, and begin negotiations with him for genuine autonomy for Tibet within China.

“Finally, that the authorities should begin a real transition to democracy in China itself by ending censorship of the media and the internet, and allowing political and religious organisations to operate independently of the Communist Party.”