Two British Tibetan women and a Chinese democracy activist were arrested today in the UK. The arrest occurred outside the Mansion House where President Xi was attending a UK-China business summit as part of his state visit to the UK.
The two women, named Jamphel and Sonam, both Tibetans from London, attempted to wave a Tibetan flag at the President’s motorcade and were both forcefully taken away by police. This was followed by the arrest of a Chinese democracy activist and Tiananmen Square survivor named Shao Jiang. The British Metropolitan Police issued the following statement:
At around 16:30hrs on Wednesday, 21 October officers on the security operation for the visiting Chinese President arrested a man in the bank area to prevent a breach of the peace.
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 behavior.
They were taken into custody at a central London police station where they remain at this time.
Tsering Passang, Chair of the Tibetan Community in Britain, issued a statement saying, “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 Choden, Jamphel Lhamo and Shao Jiang.”
Of course, this is not the first time that Tibetans have been arrested abroad. China is probably very confused as to why they are even protesting at all given that Tibet has entered its golden age. Either way, it remains to be seen whether President Xi will be gifting them with Peng Liyuan albums to help make their prison stay more comfortable.
By Hasanali Pirbhai
[Images via Tibetan Community UK]