IAWM EXPRESSES CONCERN AT THE INDULGENT WELCOME BY THE IRISH GOVERNMENT OF XI JINPING

IRISH ANTI WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) - PRESS RELEASE 19 February 2012

- IAWM EXPRESSES CONCERN AT THE INDULGENT WELCOME BY THE IRISH GOVERNMENT OF XI JINPING
- CALLS FOR FULL RECOGNITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS FOR THE CHINESE PEOPLE

In a statement released today the Irish Anti-war Movement expressed concern at the indulgent manner in which China’s vice president Xi Jinping was being welcomed in Ireland by the Government and the media.

It noted that Mr. Xi Jinping is a representative of a dictatorship that denies basic human rights to almost all of its citizens. The Chinese Government, which remains a one party state, brutally suppressed pro democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and it continually suppresses people with unorthodox religious beliefs, such as the Falon Gong movement, and dissidents who speak out against the human rights record of the government, such as the prominent artist Ai Weiwei. It denies its workers the basic right to form trade unions and engages in the widespread use of slave labour in a huge network of prison camps.

The statement noted further that the Chinese government is also clearly demonstrating imperial interests around the world most notably in Africa. Its recent veto at the UN against the vote calling on Syria to stop its bombardment of the city of Homs must be seen in this light.

Jim Roche, PRO of the IAWM noted:

“While it is understandable that Irish people should welcome trade links with big economies like China, particularly in these difficult recessionary times, this must not be at any price. We must uphold Ireland’s long tradition of support for basic human rights around the world – including in China. The Chinese government has an appalling record in this regard with the suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro democracy protesters in 1989, its continual harassment of the Falon Gong and dissidents and its suppression of the rights of the people of Tibet.”

He continued:
“It does seem our Government here is willing to do business with very unsavory regimes without a hint of criticism. We see the same behavior with some of the despotic regimes of the Middle East. Yet when the people of Palestine voted in 2006 for a new government, in one of the fairest elections ever held in the region, the Irish Government, following the lead from its masters in the Pentagon, refused, and still refuses, to recognize the democratic choice of the people. This is incredible behavior for a supposedly neutral state with expressed concerns for human rights and its indulgence of someone like Xi Jinping who represents a brutal dictatorship demonstrates awful inconsistencies by the Government.”

“It’s the same kind of inconsistency that we see also in relation to the use of Shannon Airport by the US military and rendition flights against the wishes of the majority of the Irish people.”

He concluded:

“The Irish Government seems willing to turn a blind eye to suppression of human rights. This must stop. They should use the visit by Xi Jinping to put pressure on him to allow the Chinese people to choose their government and to express their beliefs openly.”

END

For further info contact:
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737
John Molyneux Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 7356424

www.irishantiwar.org