Uyghurs, Tibetans Call on France to Address Human Rights with Chinese President

As Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Europe for his first visit since 2019, Uyghur and Tibetan activists staged protests in central Paris to draw attention to human rights abuses in their home regions, rfi reported yesterday.

Campaigners vowed to demonstrate throughout Xi’s two-day visit to France. “For the Uyghur people – and in particular for French Uyghurs – it’s a slap from our president, Emmanuel Macron,” said Dilnur Reyhan, founder of the European Uyghur Institute.

The group Students for a Free Tibet staged a protest near the Arc de Triomphe, with activist Tsela Zoksang saying “the situation in Tibet has deteriorated under Xi” and criticizing Macron for “rolling out the red carpet for him.”

Human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have urged Macron to address the “crimes against humanity” committed by China against Uyghurs and Tibetans.

Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch said Macron should make clear that these abuses “come with consequences for China’s relations with France.”

Amnesty also warned that Beijing has a history of intimidating critics overseas, including activists based in France.

Some Chinese activists based in France have said their relatives in China were visited by authorities this week in an apparent bid to discourage them from disrupting Xi’s visit.

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