|China Aid Founder and President Bob Fu shakes hands
with Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.
(Photo: China Aid)
By Rachel Ritchie
(London—Oct. 22, 2015) China Aid founder and president, Bob Fu, participated in several advocacy events in London this week during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s U.K. visit, including a Stateless Lunch, a protest near Buckingham Palace, a panel discussion hosted by the University of Westminster, and several meetings with Members of Parliament and other government leaders.
Fu first attended a Stateless Lunch with other human rights defenders at the U.K. Parliament on Monday, where Edward McMillan-Scott, a China Aid advisory board member and former Vice-President for Human Rights and Democracy of the European Parliament, spoke on behalf of China Aid.
During the luncheon, Fu discussed ongoing religious freedom abuses in China with the luncheon’s featured speakers, including Chinese dissident Dr. Shao Jiang, Member of Parliament Fabian Hamilton, and Human Rights Watch’s U.K. director, David Mepham.
|Bob Fu joined other human rights advocates,
including blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng
and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement leader,
Joshua Wong, during a protest at St. James Park near
Buckingham Palace. (Photo: China Aid)
During Monday’s protest at St. James Park near Buckingham Palace, where Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were scheduled to stay the night, Fu joined blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng and the leader of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, Joshua Wong. The group aimed to be “a voice for the voiceless, such as Wang Yu, Li Heping, Zhang Kai, and hundreds of thousands of other prisoners of conscience,” Fu said.
Fu finished Monday’s events at a panel discussion hosted by the University of Westminster, where he read a speech prepared by McMillan-Scott in the latter’s absence. During the discussion, Fu said, “If human rights are neglected, such ‘unprincipled diplomacy’ will result in painful consequences.”
McMillan-Scott’s remarks included finding “inspiration” from Christian human rights lawyer and China 18 member Gao Zhisheng, for continuing to pursue justice though being repeatedly tortured, and suggested that “…change is coming to China and that the hundreds of lawyers, civil society activists and reformists who remain in prison will form part of the future government of a free China.”
|Lord David Alton, left, received Bob Fu
at the Royal Gallery. (Photo: China Aid)
On Tuesday, Fu met with several Parliamentarians, including human rights advocate and former Member of Parliament Lord David Alton, who gave Fu a tour of the Royal Gallery prior to Xi’s speech to Parliament. Fu remarked, “My good friend from the House of Lords escorted me to view the Royal Gallery, a lecture hall prepared for such distinguished guests as the Pope, where Alton commented that though President Xi would be received in the Gallery, it was the president of China Aid, Bob Fu being received at the moment.”
On Wednesday, Fu met with John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, at Westminster Hall. During the meeting, Fu raised several cases of worsening human rights and religious freedom in China, including the case of Pastor Zhang Shaojie, the pastor of a government-sanctioned church sentenced to 12 years in prison on false charges, and the cases of Wang Yu, Le Heping, and Zhang Kai, human rights lawyers who were detained in the July crackdown on legal professionals.
|Bob Fu, left, and Edward McMillan-
Scott pose for a photo during the
Stateless Lunch hosted by Parliament.
(Photo: China Aid)
Fu also raised the case of Hong Kong Umbrella Movement leader, Joshua Wong, who is facing up to five years in prison if convicted for organizing peaceful protests. Fu and Bercow also discussed the widespread cross demolitions in Zhejiang province, among others, that have been ongoing since early 2014.
Fu also met with Parliamentarians John Glen and Jeremy Lefroy, a member of the International Development Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights, and briefed members of the All Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG), including its chair Richard Graham and Vice Chair for Human Rights, Madeleine Moon.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]