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Statement by the EU Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Security Policy

Chinese human rights defender, Mr Tashi Wangchuk, who was detained in January 2016, was convicted of inciting separatism and sentenced to five years' imprisonment by the Yushu Intermediate People's Court on 22 May 2018. Mr Tashi's rights under China's Criminal Procedure Law and international law obligations to a fair trial, to be tried without undue delay, and to mount a proper defence, were not fully respected.

We expect the Chinese authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression of all citizens as recognised by China's Constitution and in line with China’s international law obligations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. China also needs to ensure that ethnic minorities enjoy equal rights, including freedom of expression and belief, as mandated by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which China ratified in 1981.

Tashi Wangchuk and other detained and convicted human rights defenders and lawyers including Ilham Tohti, Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Huang Qi and Yu Wensheng must be released immediately.

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