Scotland: Amnesty International protest at the Chinese consulate in Edinburgh

What: Handing in of petition calling for the release of journalist Shi Tao

Where: Chinese Consulate, 55 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh

When: Wednesday 27th September, 2pm

Amnesty International is today (27 Sept) leading a group of human rights activists to hand over a petition to the Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh calling for the release of journalist Shi Tao. All of the signatures were collected in Scotland during the Edinburgh Festivals.

Shi Tao is an experienced journalist and published poet, who on 20 April 2004 sent an email containing details of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) communication. This communication had warned journalists not to report on any unrest during the upcoming anniversary of the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square.

As a result of this email he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for ‘illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities’. Amnesty International believes Shi Tao has been imprisoned for peacefully expressing his right to freedom of speech.

An important aspect to this case is the fact that evidence that led to Shi Tao’s conviction included account-holder information provided by Yahoo!. Amnesty International demands that companies respect human rights, wherever they operate.

Rosemary Burnett, Programme Director for Amnesty International Scotland said:

“We hope that the handing over of this petition will remind the Chinese authorities that their actions are under international scrutiny. Shi Tao was exercising his right to a free press and freedom of speech, freedoms that are often taking for granted in this country.”

“We are also urging international companies that work in China to ensure that they are not colluding with the Chinese government in restricting people’s right to freedom of opinion, expression and information.”

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