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Rights activists protest against Chinese leader's visit

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-11-05

Around 20 rights activists protested in Paris on Friday against the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, calling for jailed 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo to be freed.

AFP - Around 20 rights activists staged a protest in Paris on Friday as the convoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao passed, calling for jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo to be freed, an AFP journalist reported.

Police intervened rapidly as protestors from media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) opened up white umbrellas with "Free Liu Xiaobo" printed on them and shouted the same slogan as Hu approached the Arc de Triomphe.

Hu's three-day state visit, aimed at cementing ties previously troubled by rights issues, is under tight security with no demonstrations allowed to approach the Chinese leader.

"We tried to get Hu Jintao to hear something about human rights and about Liu Xiaobo," said RSF's head Jean-Francois Julliard.

Activists and the Socialist opposition complain France has kept human rights off the menu for the visit.

No joint news conference has been scheduled, an exceptional departure from state visit procedures that has been criticised by campaigners who want Hu to be pressed on the issue of human rights.

Campaigners have criticised French President Nicolas Sarkozy for not speaking out in favour of jailed dissident Liu, whose Nobel Peace Prize enraged Beijing when it was announced last month.

France and China signed 20 billion dollars in industrial contracts on Thursday at the start of Hu's visit.

 

Date created : 2010-11-05

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