Voetbalfan? Liverpool gestrikt!

Tibet Spring 5100 is een A-merk mineraalwater dat in heel China wordt verkocht. Sinds 2006 wordt dit water in Tibet gebotteld door het Chinese bedrijf Tibet Water Resources Ltd (TWRL). Het was het officiële drinkwater van het Nationaal Congres van de Communistische Partij van China in 2007 en het 18de Congres van de Partij in 2012, toen de macht werd doorgegeven aan de huidige president van China, Xi Jinping. Het bedrijf heeft meer dan 50 miljoen dollar overheidssteun ontvangen.

Liverpool Football Club, u vast welbekend, onderhoudt een ‘commerciële relatie’ met Tibet Water Resources Ltd.
Het Internationale Tibet Netwerk is bezorgd over rapporten waaruit blijkt dat Liverpool Football Club (LFC) de ‘officiële regionale waterpartner in China’ moet worden. Uit de rapporten blijkt dat er een ‘sterke merkaanwezigheid’ zal zijn op de Chineestalige website van de Liverpool Foorball Club en we kunnen verwachten dat ‘Liverpool-spelers van nu, en in de toekomst, hun afbeeldingen zullen lenen voor Tibet Water reclamecampagnes’.

Het Internationale Tibet Netwerk heeft een brief opgesteld die door de aangesloten 180 Tibet organisaties, waaronder de Tibet Support Groep Nederland, ondertekend zal worden en aangeboden aan de directie van de voetbalclub Liverpool, met name gericht aan hoofdeigenaar John Henry.
Hieronder is de (Engeltalige) brief te lezen.

Er wordt in geschreven over de slechte leefomstandigheden en het treden van de mensenrechten van Tibetanen in Tibet, en het recht op exploitatie van grondstoffen uit Tibet. Het is bovendien niet gezegd dat het bottelen van het water geen risico oplevert voor het milieu in Tibet.
De eigenaren van voetbalclub Liverpool wordt gevraagd om zich terug te trekken uit de eventuele handelsovereenkomst met het Chinese bedrijf Tibet Water Resources Ltd (TWRL).

Wij houden u op de hoogte van eventuele reacties van Liverpool.

Al in 2016 startte het Internationale Tibet Netwerk een campagne tegen het Chinese bedrijf TWRL klik hier om meer te lezen

Tibet Support Groep Nederland

Dear Mr Henry,

We are contacting you, as Tibetans and Tibet supporters around the world, in response to the news that Liverpool Football Club has entered into a commercial relationship with Tibet Water Resources Ltd (TWRL). We have already been contacted by several Liverpool supporters, who have expressed concerns about this partnership. Due to the severe ongoing human rights abuses inside Tibet, we urge you to terminate this agreement.

TWRL bottles and sells water from Tibet, a country that has been under military occupation since the Chinese army invaded in 1950. Under Chinese occupation, Tibet has become a human rights blackspot. The US think tank Freedom House has put Tibet as the second worst place in the world for the past two years in terms of civil liberties and political rights, behind only Syria.

The Tibetan people are systematically denied basic human rights and are routinely arrested for acts that would never be considered a crime in the UK, such as communicating with people outside Tibet, writing blogs about Tibetan culture, criticising the Chinese government or flying the Tibetan flag. The United Nations Committee Against Torture has expressed concern about the widespread and persistent use of torture of Tibetans in Chinese jails and detention centres.

The Tibetan population does not recognise the legitimacy of the government that has been imposed on it by China. Nearly 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in protest against the occupation and the human rights abuses that sustain it.

Chinese companies such as TWRL are only able to commercially exploit Tibet’s water resources because China enforces its rule over Tibet through this absolute denial of political freedom and severe repression. In recent years, Free Tibet has documented an increasing number of protests by Tibetans against extraction projects taking place on their land without their consent and that have caused environmental and social damage. Free Tibet has seen no evidence that TWRL’s water bottling activities in Tibet are being carried out in agreement with the Tibetan population.

There is also an environmental risk to bottling from Tibet’s glaciers. Tibet’s environment and water resources are already under severe threat from pollution, climate change and the effects of massive damming and diversion projects undertaken by the Chinese government. Water bottling in Tibet risks exacerbating this environmental destruction and also depleting glaciers and rivers that supply water to over one billion people in Tibet, China and across Asia.

The sustained and intense repression in Tibet continues to draw condemnation from governments, global institutions and the public. A commercial partnership with a Chinese company exploiting Tibet’s environment would not help support Tibet’s beleaguered people, but intensify the grave problems they already face. Tibetans must be able to manage their own resources and protect their own environment.

Due to the continued repression in Tibet, and the risk of severe damage to its environment, any partnership with a company exploiting its natural resources would be unethical and unsustainable. We therefore hope you will recognise the importance of withdrawing support from this deal with TWRL. Such a move would be in accordance with the club’s stated commitment to upholding human rights in its supply chain and its culture of conducting business with high ethical standards. It would also offer reassurance to Liverpool fans around the world about the club’s commitment to these core values.

If you consider it helpful, we would be very happy to discuss this with you further at your convenience, or provide further information about the ongoing human rights abuses in Tibet. You can contact us via the return address on this envelope, or by contacting Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, the Director of Free Tibet, at Eleanor@freetibet.org. Thank you very much for your consideration of this matter.