Liverpool deal with Tibet Water Resources to be target of protest

Liverpool v Manchester City
Liverpool host Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday

A protest calling for Liverpool to cancel a sponsorship deal with Tibet Water Resources will be held before Sunday's game against Manchester City.

The club signed a deal in July for Tibet Water Resources to be an official water partner in China, which claims sovereignty over the Himalayan region.

Tibet campaign groups plan to parade a mobile billboard in streets around Anfield saying Tibetans are "tortured" under Chinese rule.

Liverpool have yet to comment.

The billboard, which specifically targets Liverpool principal owner John W Henry, will display the message: "Under Chinese rule, Tibetans are beaten and tortured for their beliefs.

"John W Henry: Your deal with Tibet Water legitimises the torture of Tibetans. Liverpool FC: Do we think this is okay?"

In October, a petition calling on Liverpool to scrap the deal, organised by the Free Tibet Group, received over 80,000 signatures.

Sunday's protest is being held as part of a campaign led by Tibet groups and international consumer group SumOfUs.

A statement issued by Tibet Water Resources in October said: "As recently as 2016, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a report, 'China National Human Development Report', which specifically recognises that our company has helped measurably improve Tibetans' livelihoods by providing more job opportunities, building local facilities, as well as supporting local education, medical care and poverty alleviation.

"As a Hong Kong-listed company we comply with all regulatory issues with periodic disclosure of our operating performance."

Tibet is governed as an autonomous region of China, however, the allegiances of many Tibetans lie with the exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who says Tibet has been colonised.

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