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【專訪】KO「習粉」單車型男:集會者疑收錢撐習 籲港人勿放棄爭民主

2015/10/22 — 21:51

中國國家主席習近平國事訪問英國,倫敦街頭出現大批支持習近平的人士集會,部份更刻意掩蓋了關注人權問題示威者的聲音。日前一名穿西裝、推著單車的年輕英國男子,在倫敦街頭質問一批手持中國國旗的集會人士,有關片段在網上被廣傳。原來,這位「單車型男」Paul Powlesland,是一位在倫敦執業的大律師。他接受《立場》訪問時,批評英國政府「為錢出賣原則」,又披露更多當日經過,指曾有集會者阻止他與他人理論,更聲稱自己來撐習是「工作」。

「Free Tibet」Facebook專頁昨日分享了上述約長2分鐘的片段,片中男子下了單車,當面質問支持習近平的年輕中國男女:「你們今日到來表達你們的權利和言論自由,那麼,你們是否認為世上每個人都應享有這些權利呢?包括在西藏、北京?」人群中的幾名男生無力招架,只是笑笑口,其中一個女生強調「我們都是獨立的」,該名男子回應「很多英國人都對習近平所受到的歡迎感到厭惡!為了錢,卡梅倫對你們主席唯命是從。全世界很多人都不喜歡你們的主席,以及你們國家人權被中共剝奪的狀況。」

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片中人Paul Powlesland原來是一位畢業於劍橋大學的執業大律師。他接受《立場》訪問時指,自己對西藏問題、以及中國缺乏民主、打壓人權的情況聽聞已久,因此非常關注習近平此次訪英,對英國政府為了商貿及投資而無視人權問題,盛大歡迎習近平,感到厭惡,認為從英女王到首相卡梅倫,均應因自己為錢出賣原則的行徑感到羞恥。

Paul透露,當日自法院踩單車回辦公室期間,經過「撐習」集會,停下車詢問集會者在表達什麼訴求,但沒有任何集會者願意與他交談,有人要求他勿多管閒事。

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Paul質疑這些人是「假示威者」,又覺得他們利用英國的言論、集會自由,來歌頌打壓中國言論、集會自由的習近平,非常諷刺。當他質問集會者時,有人向他大喊蘇格蘭,相信是想拿蘇獨與藏獨比較(《環球時報》社評曾指,若英堅持與達賴會面,中國可接觸北愛及蘇格蘭獨立派)。對此Paul回應稱,自己支持蘇格蘭獨立,而蘇格蘭人民亦可公投決定前途,反問撐習集會者,西藏人民又是否應獲准公投,決定是否獨立?

Paul指,在他嘗試與集會者談話時,有一名戴眼鏡、穿西裝的年輕人,指示其他集會者不要與他交談;當Paul問他為何要阻止他人時,他回應這是他的「工作」,令Paul質疑他是收錢行事。

Paul批評英國政府越來越墮落,為了吸引投資,與中國、沙特阿拉伯等打壓人權的獨裁政府曲意逢迎,他對此感到差恥。他相信,有很多英國人都認同英政府歡迎習的方式是錯誤的,他與集會者理論期間,亦有倫敦市民上前對他表示支持。

Paul又向爭取自由、人權與民主的香港人表示支持及祝福,呼籲港人不要放棄。

Paul Powlesland對《立場》提問的回應,整理成文如下:

I have for a long time known of the plight of Tibet and of the human rights abuses and lack of democracy in China, so when I heard of Xi Jinping's visit to London I was concerned. This concern turned to disgust when I found that the British government effectively intended to ignore the human rights issues and give Xi Jinping the red carpet treatment, apparently in return for trade and investment. I think that to sell out one's principles for money is appalling and all those who have done so (from the Queen to David Cameron) should be ashamed.

I was cycling back from court (I am a barrister) to my office through the City of London, when I became aware of groups of people waving Chinese flags, with banners welcoming the President. I stopped at various groups to ask what they were demonstrating about, but none of them seemed to want to talk to me; a few told me to mind my own business. It dawned on me that these seemed to be fake protesters. It is also made me realise the irony that these people were using the freedom of speech and right to protest that we have in Britain to praise and welcome a President who would never allow such things in China, let alone Tibet. So I thought I would politely ask them a question: given you are using the right to protest and freedom of speech that you are allowed in London, do you think such a right should be allowed for people back in China, or in Tibet? Mostly they ignored me, but one person mentioned Scotland (I think trying to compare it to Tibet!), to which I replied that I was in favour of Scottish independence and, in any case, the Scottish people had been given a vote on the matter, so did they think that Tibetans should be given a vote on independence too!

After this conversation, I tried to speak to a few more groups of protesters, but a young man in a suit and glasses (who can be seen on the right in the still of the video) ran around telling them not to talk to me. When I asked him why he was doing this, he said it was "his work", suggesting he was being paid/ordered to do it! After that I cycled back to my office and had no idea about the video online untilo a friend messaged me to say she'd seen it.

I don't have any especial reason to be concerned about human rights in China or Tibet, or Hong Kong, other than my general desire for freedom and human rights for all people of the world. I have loved reading the comments on the video and realising how many people from all around the world believe in the same thing.

The British government, however, seems to be sinking increasingly low in cosying up to any human rights abusing dictator or regime who they think they can get a bit of money or investment from (be it Saudi Arabia, China, Bahrain or many others) and I am genuinely ashamed of them for doing so. It was heartening to see many comments from Tibetans on the video who are pleased to know that not all British people agree with the actions of our government in welcoming leaders like Xi Jinping so warmly.

Finally, many British people do seem to agree that what is happening this week is wrong. As you may see in the video, a number of Londoners walked up to me during the talk with the protesters to say they agreed with me and that they too were disgusted with the actions of our government in welcoming Xi Jinping. Also, the reactions of my friends (and even complete strangers) to the video has been so positive.

I am proud that I stopped to talk to the 'protesters'. I wish good luck and solidarity to all those in Hong Kong- and indeed all those around the world- campaigning for freedom, human rights and democracy.

If I am honest, the nature of the CCP and its human rights abuses in China itself, Tibet, Hong Kong etc does not sit well with the fact that it is gaining strength both economically and politically. As we've seen from the British this week, some countries will try to gain advantage from that rising power and will ignore human rights to do so.

On the other hand, I am aware that things can change quickly and that we should never give up!

Paul Powlesland質詢撐習近平人士的片段:

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