Archive | ICT Reports RSS feed for this section

US officials, Tibetan-Americans celebrate success at Tibetan New Year event at State Department

February 12, 2019

The recent and future successes of the Tibetan-American community were celebrated at a Tibetan New Year event at the State Department last week that sent strong messages about continued US support for Tibet.

The State Department’s Office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues organized the gathering on Feb. 8, 2019 for Losar, the start of the Tibetan Year of the Earth Pig.

The event, which attracted dozens of US government officials, diplomats, civil society representatives, and Tibetan Americans, featured traditional Tibetan music and dance performances, Tibetan food and remarks by US and Tibetan leaders.

Read full story Comments are closed
Seeker Tibet video

Video quoting ICT exposes destruction of Tibetans’ landscape and way of life

February 8, 2019

The president of the International Campaign for Tibet is quoted in a new video that exposes China’s environmentally destructive policy of forcing Tibetan nomads off their land.

The video from Seeker Media, which is posted on Animal Planet’s Facebook page and on MSN.com, focuses on the Changtang National Nature Reserve in the northern Tibetan plateau. It adds to the growing number of revelations about how the Chinese government is removing Tibetan nomads from the lands they’ve tended for hundreds of years—even though scientists agree their stewardship is essential for protecting the environment.

“Nomadic farming techniques have helped preserve Tibet’s grasslands for centuries,” the video text says, “but now officials want regional cattle farmers to relocate to nearby Lhasa,” Tibet’s capital city.

Read full story Comments are closed
MM Heritage Panel

Repression of Tibetan Buddhism engineered by Beijing must be confronted, ICT president says at panel discussion in Washington, DC

February 7, 2019
The president of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) told a panel discussion at a major think tank in Washington, DC that it is time for democratic governments and international institutions to go after high-ranking Chinese officials who design policies that violate human rights.

Speaking at the panel discussion “Evaluating Threats to Religious Freedom in China” at The Heritage Foundation on Feb. 5, 2019, ICT President Matteo Mecacci said that while specific human rights violations against one person or a small group are tragic, more attention should be paid by democratic governments and international institutions to the Chinese leaders whose policies make those violations possible.

“What’s important is also to look at the architects of the policies that are being implemented on the larger scale,” Mecacci said, adding that “These individuals should be individually targeted,” whether by freezing their financial assets or denying them visas to enter other countries.

Read full story Comments are closed
Choekyi Released

Fears for health of Tibetan monk jailed for celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday

January 30, 2019

There are growing fears about the welfare of a Tibetan monk who was released from prison this month after spending three-and-a-half years in jail for wearing a t-shirt that celebrated the Dalai Lama’s birthday.

The monk named Choekyi (Chinese:Queji), who was the subject of a European Parliament emergency resolution calling for his release last year is suffering from serious ill-health and pain that was exacerbated by hard labor and solitary confinement in prison. He was denied health care in custody, and, even since his release, he has not been allowed to receive medical treatment.

Choekyi was detained in June 2015 after he wore a t-shirt with Tibetan writing celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday that year and posted messages of good wishes on social media.

Read full story Comments are closed

Lawyer denied access to imprisoned Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk on eve of arrest anniversary

January 23, 2019

The lawyer of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, who marks three years in a Chinese prison on Jan. 27, 2019, was denied access to him last week despite Tashi Wangchuk’s request to meet him to discuss making a new petition about his case.

Wangchuk was sentenced to five years in prison on May 2, 2018, accused of ‘separatism’ after appearing in a New York Times video speaking about the importance of protecting Tibetans’ ‘mother tongue.’ Court documents later showed his prosecution to be a sham.

One of Wangchuk’s lawyers, Lin Qilei, travelled to Dongchuan Prison in Xining City, Qinghai Province, on Jan. 15 in order to ascertain Wangchuk’s current situation and his wish to file a new petition for his release, according to a posting by China Human Rights Defenders. Wangchuk’s first, unsuccessful appeal against his sentence was heard in August 2018. According to PRC law, prisoners are entitled to file a petition if they are not satisfied by the judgement against them. According to Article 22 of this law, the prison should “without delay” handle these petitions.

Read full story Comments are closed

Personal thanks from ICT Chairman Richard Gere

January 22, 2019

A message from Richard Gere to ICT Supporters

As Chairman of your International Campaign for Tibet, it gives me great pleasure to share with you the good news of our most extraordinary recent success.

Against huge obstacles, including a formidable Chinese lobbying effort, a transitional Congress, and a Washington that continues to be divided, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act was passed unanimously in the House and the Senate, and was signed into law by President Trump on December 19th, 2018.

Read full story Comments are closed

Chinese response to Tibet reciprocity bill signals its fear of US support for Tibet

January 7, 2019

Giant thangka painting of mass murderer Mao is assertion of ‘red culture’ in Tibet

  • As Chinese authorities reacted angrily against President Trump signing into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, they stepped up criticism of the Dalai Lama, republishing baseless negative articles that exposed China’s fear of the new law, which received strong bipartisan and bicameral support in the US.
  • Local authorities in an area of eastern Tibet launched a “clean-up” drive to eliminate pictures of the Tibetan religious leader and replace them with pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.
  • In a development that would be unthinkable in Chinese cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, a massive image of Mao Zedong has been created in a Tibetan area in the form of a Tibetan thangka (a Buddhist religious painting), involving 12,000 people in its production and costing more than 4 million yuan ($580,000). It is a move apparently designed to assert Tibetan subjugation to the image of Mao, who was responsible for the invasion of Tibet in 1949-50. Its announcement coincided with statements from Xi emphasizing the Communist Party’s dominance at important meetings in Beijing in December 2018.
Read full story Comments are closed

Americans rank Dalai Lama among most admired men in the world, showing continued US support for both him and Tibet

The Tibetan spiritual leader is eighth on Gallup’s 2018 Most Admired Man list, marking his ninth appearance in the top 10.

The list, released today, is based on a survey that asked more than 1,000 adults across the United States which living person they admired most. Former US President Barack Obama came up first for the 11th consecutive year, while his wife, former first lady Michele Obama, topped the list of most admired women.

As a leader who for decades has advocated a peaceful solution to the Tibetan crisis—earning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989—and as an eloquent voice of compassion and tolerance across religions and cultures, the Dalai Lama is often voted as one of the most respected figures around the globe.

Read full story Comments are closed
White House statement

Tibet Reciprocal Access bill becomes law, marking new era in US-China relationship and US support for Tibetans

December 19, 2018

The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act is now law, signifying a more vigorous interest by the United States in Tibet and the Tibetan people.

This law marks a new era of US support for Tibetans and a challenge to China’s discriminatory policies in Tibet. Following unanimous passage by both the House and the Senate, President Donald Trump signed it on December 19, 2018.

The legislation calls for American diplomats, journalists and ordinary citizens to have equal access to the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas as their Chinese counterparts enjoy in the US.

Read full story Comments are closed

Teen monk beaten and arrested as wave of protests and self-immolations continues in Tibet

December 18, 2018

On a major anniversary in Tibet, a 17-year-old monk was beaten and arrested for calling out for Tibetan freedom, just one day after unconfirmed reports said two teens lit themselves on fire in protest of Chinese rule.

On Dec. 10, the anniversary of the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, 17-year-old Sanggye Gyatso of the Kirti monastery in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet carried out a solo protest, calling for ‘Freedom for Tibet.’ As he attempted to walk along the main street, he was detained immediately by police, who beat him as they took him away, according to two Kirti monks living in exile in Dharamsala, India.

Sanggye Gyatso has now disappeared into custody, and there is no further information about his safety or whereabouts. According to the two monks in Dharamsala, he is from Soruma village in the Choejema area of Ngaba county and joined Kirti monastery at a young age from a family of pastoralists.

Read full story Comments are closed
Facial recognition technology

Developing technological totalitarianism in Tibet: Huawei and Hikvision

December 17, 2018

In August 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a law that forbade US government agencies from buying surveillance products from Chinese firms including Hikvision, ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. A month later, it was reported that the US was considering sanctions against companies and Chinese officials over Beijing’s mass detention of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in concentration camps.

Hikvision, a company that is controlled by the Chinese government and has internet-enabled cameras installed in more than 100 countries, has installed surveillance systems in a re-education camp in Xinjiang (East Turkestan) and mosques and has also been directly involved in a large-scale integrated surveillance program in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that is terrifying in its scope and scale.[1] The company also has offices in Lhasa and has provided surveillance tech for the Qinghai-Tibet railway.

Hikvision’s work in Tibet is particularly associated with the former Chinese Communist Party chief of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Chen Quanguo, who is now in charge in Xinjiang. In Tibet, Chen used surveillance tech supplied by Hikvision as part of the development of one of the most dystopian and intrusive police and security states in the world—a system of technological totalitarianism.

Read full story Comments are closed

Dalai Lama commends Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for shining a light on human rights violations

December 12, 2018

The Dalai Lama has commended the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) on its 10th anniversary, praising its “positive contribution in shining a light on individuals throughout the world whose fundamental human rights are being violated by those in power.”

The message was posted on the TLHRC website after a December 11, 2018, anniversary reception.

“I have always looked to the United States as a champion of democracy, freedom, human values and creativity,” the Dalai Lama writes. “The U.S. is a leader among free nations, playing a pivotal role in the promotion of peace around the world. I commend the Tom Lantos Commission for its positive contribution in shining a light on individuals throughout the world whose fundamental human rights are being violated by those in power.”

Read full story Comments are closed

Legislative landmark: US Congress passes Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

December 11, 2018

In a triumph today for American citizens—including lawmakers, activists and human rights advocates concerned about the decades-long repression in Tibet—the United States Congress unanimously passed a bill that takes direct aim at the Chinese government’s unfair treatment of Americans and pushes back against its isolation of Tibet from the outside world.

The US Senate approved the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act on December 11, 2018. It now goes to the desk of President Trump, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018—which was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and in the Senate by Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)—is bipartisan legislation designed to address China’s exclusion of American journalists, diplomats and citizens from Tibet.

Read full story Comments are closed
Drugkho

Young Tibetan man sets himself on fire; third self-immolation in Tibet this year

December 10, 2018

According to information from Tibetan sources, a young Tibetan man set fire to himself in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) in the Tibetan area of Amdo on Dec. 8, 2018. News of the self-immolation circulated in Tibetan-language media but was difficult to immediately confirm because the Chinese government imposed an information blackout in the area and punishes Tibetans who discuss such incidents with outsiders.

The Tibetan language newspaper Tibet Times as well as the Tibet Post International identified the man as Drugkho from Ngaba. The Tibet Post also said that he set himself on fire while calling out for the long life of the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. Radio Free Asia also reported the news, with one source telling RFA: “It has become an emergency issue and the details of the incident cannot be discussed at the moment. Everyone is aware of this self-immolation case in Ngaba, but no one has received a detailed account of the situation.”

It is not clear if Drugkho is still alive.

Read full story Comments are closed

The origin of the ‘Xinjiang model’ in Tibet under Chen Quanguo: Securitizing ethnicity and accelerating assimilation

December 10, 2018

Reports on the current situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region describe a climate of expansive surveillance and control, the mass detention of at least 1 million Uyghurs and Kazakhs in re-education camps and an effective information vacuum. In August 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed grave concern over “numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim minorities held incommunicado and often for long periods, without being charged or tried, under the pretext of countering terrorism and religious extremism.”

The international community has been justifiably concerned about Uyghurs and Kazakhs who have been severely targeted because of their ethnic identity, culture and religious practice. In November 2018, 15 western ambassadors in Beijing undertook the unprecedented move of writing to Chen Quanguo, the Party Secretary in Xinjiang, to request a meeting to discuss the current situation there. As Chen is the party secretary leading policy design and implementation in Xinjiang, the 15 western ambassadors have good reason to seek him out.

While the latter appears to be a promising development, it is questionable how forthcoming Chen would be at such a meeting. To best understand what is unfolding in Xinjiang and the motivation driving Chen and the Chinese Communist Party’s policies, observers should look to Tibet, where Chen previously served as the party secretary for the Tibet Autonomous Region. Chen’s policy goals and projects in Tibet offer insights into the roots of what is being called the ‘Xinjiang model’ of repression, in particular the emphasis on cultural assimilation and the construction of an extensive architecture of surveillance and control.

Read full story Comments are closed

Richard Gere receives German Sustainability Award for lifetime commitment for human rights

December 7, 2018

ICT Chairman Richard Gere has received the Honorary Award of the German Sustainability Awards 2019 for his advocacy and lifetime commitment for human rights and for his “work to draw attention and practical solutions to humanitarian crises rooted in injustice, inequality and intolerance,” a statement by the German Sustainability Award Foundation said.

Read full story Comments are closed
Dalai Lama letter

Dalai Lama’s message to global climate summit shows need for urgent action in Tibet

December 6, 2018

As a native of one of the world’s most beautiful and endangered landscapes, the Dalai Lama has sent his prayers and advice to the largest annual global climate change summit.

“We have to take serious action now to protect our environment and find constructive solutions to global warming,” the Tibetan spiritual leader wrote in a message to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as the COP24 Climate Conference.

The event, taking place now in the Polish city of Katowice, has brought together delegates from nearly 200 countries to create a roadmap for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Read full story Comments are closed

State Dept. supports reciprocal access to Tibet, and Congress rejects China’s authority to choose new Dalai Lama

December 4, 2018

The US Department of State supports the goals of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and will take steps to implement the bill if it becomes law, a department official said at a hearing today.

During the same hearing, a US Senator stated that Congress would reject a Chinese-appointed reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

“I think it’s clear that this Congress would not recognize a Chinese imposition” of a new Dalai Lama, said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who presided today, Dec. 4, 2018, over the hearing titled “The China Challenge, Part 3: Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.”

Read full story Comments are closed