Alerts of demonstrations during China visit

Uighur China XinjiangUighur political demonstration waving Uighur and Turkish flags. Photo: AP

Alerts of protests in Stavanger and Oslo during China visit

Several organizations announce demonstrations outside the Norwegian Parliament and in Stavanger during the visit by one of China’s most powerful men.

Amnesty International, the Norwegian Tibet Committee and the Norwegian Uighur Committee will demonstrate outside The Norwegian Parliament during Wednesday’s visit by Chinese top politician Li Zhanshu, who is the leader of the People’s Congress of China. He is considered to be number three on the power ladder in China.

China is being criticized by the world community for a number of human rights violations, including how they treat the Muslim Uighur minority

There have been no signs that this question will be on the agenda during the visit to the Norwegian National Assembly, where Li meets Parliamentary President Tone W. Trøen, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the Foreign and Defence Committee.

Trøen is silent

Trøen, who is hosting the meeting, told NRK last week that she will not go into details in advance about what she will talk to the Chinese delegation about.

The three organizations that will be demonstrating at Løvebakken, however, warn that they will show the Chinese what they think about the country’s challenges regarding freedom of expression and about the situation in the autonomous Xinjiang region. A region which is largely populated by Muslim Uighur.

According to estimates from the UN, up to one million Uighur and other Muslim minorities are detained in camps in Xinjiang. Chinese authorities refer to those camps as “vocational centres” for people who are at risk of joining Islamic extremist groups or separatist organizations.

Norway scared shitless about a new ice front

General Secretary John Peder Egenæs in Amnesty International Norway tells NTB that Chinese authorities cannot travel around the world only to be met as a good and potential trading partner.

“We want to show them that people in Norway are concerned about the situation in China. China is responsible for grave and serious human rights violations, which we cannot let go unnoticed when we are visited by them,” he says.

Chinese government critic Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. The award led to a Chinese ice front against Norway, which meant that China severed all political contact and free trade negotiations that were about to be completed. Only in 2016 was the relationship normalised.

“Everything indicates that one is terrified of reliving the situation after Liu Xiaobo. Thus are willing to remain silent to avoid ending up in the same situation as after the Nobel Peace Prize,” the Leader of Amnesty continues.


Must address the situation of the Uighur

The Norwegian Uighur Committee (NUK) claims that all the around 2,500 Uighur in Norway have at least one family member detained in the Xinjiang camps.

“Norway, which is a well-known representative of peace and has human rights as a core value, must not be silent about the current serious humanitarian crisis in East Turkestan (Xianjing). The situation of the Uighur and the overall human rights situation in China must be addressed to the Chinese delegation,” Board Leader of NUK, Bahtiyar Ømer, states.

The Norwegian and 14 other western embassies in Beijing asked for a meeting with the party leader in the Chinese Xinjiang region to clarify what is happening in the suspended region last autumn. China called the letter an «unacceptable attempt to put pressure on local authorities».

The demonstrations in Oslo begin in Spikersuppa at 2 pm on Wednesday. On May 17th, the municipality of Stavanger will host the Chinese delegation. During the Stavanger visit, the same three organisations will demonstrate outside the Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel in the city centre.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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