Danny Lee, South China Morning Post | October 22, 2015
A Tiananmen Square crackdown survivor and two British Tibetan protesters have been arrested and detained overnight by British police, according to a community protest group.
The trio, understood to include Chinese democracy activist Shao Jiang, were arrested outside an event in the City of London where President Xi Jinping was in attendance.
As Britain has signed a flurry of deals with China worth US$46 billion, including a centrepiece nuclear power station agreement, Prime Minister David Cameron has come under fire for deepening ties with Beijing while overlooking human rights issues.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed a man and two women were arrested to prevent a breach of the peace.
“At around 4.30pm on Wednesday, October 21 officers on the security operation for the visiting Chinese president arrested a man in the Bank area to prevent a breach of the peace,” a police spokeswoman said.
“Two women were arrested nearby shortly after, also to prevent a breach of the peace.
“All three were further arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit threatening behaviour. They were taken into custody at a central London police station where they remain at this time.”
Tsering Passang, chairman of the Tibetan Community in Britain organisation, said two of his members, Sonam, 30, and Jamphel, 33, were arrested at Mansion House, after they attempted to wave Tibetan flags at Xi’s passing car and “were forcefully taken away by police.”
“As a British Tibetan, I am shocked that the Met Police would arrest peaceful protesters. Tibetans are being silenced both in their homeland and now in the UK.
“I demand fair treatment for all protesters who are standing up for human rights and democracy and demand the immediate release of Sonam, Jamphel and Shao Jiang”, he wrote on Facebook.
Chinese dissident Shao was a leading figure in the 1989 student movement and helped draft a list of demands during the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.
At a joint-press conference on Wednesday, Xi responded to a British journalist’s question on human rights, stating there was “room for improvement” in China’s record.
“Coming to the human rights issue, China attaches great importance to human rights. We have found a path suited to China’s conditions,” he said.
“There is always room for improvement in the world. China is ready to increase cooperation with the UK and other countries over human rights.”