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ICT Welcomes European Parliament Urgency Resolution on Larung Gar Demolitions and Ilham Tohti

December 15

Brussels, 15 December 2016 – The European Parliament today adopted an urgency resolution on breaches of human rights, democracy, and rule of law in China, in which it urged the Chinese authorities to stop the dismantling at Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist academy.

This resolution follows the September visit of the Dalai Lama to the European Parliament where he met former President Schulz and addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee in Strasbourg calling on Europe to engage in ‘constructive criticism’ of China[1].

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Dalai Lama

EU, Parliament officials ignore China pressure to welcome Dalai Lama in Strasbourg, Paris, Brussels

September 16, 2016

The Dalai Lama called on Europe to engage in ‘constructive criticism’ of China after being welcomed by the President of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday (September 15) following high-profile visits to Paris and Brussels.

Despite pressure from the Chinese mission to the EU to cancel the meetings – framed by the Chinese side as “repeated persuasion” – the Dalai Lama held discussions with European Parliament President Martin Schulz and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Tsering Jampa

ICT holds High-level Roundtable on Counter-Terrorism in China

June 17, 2016

Following the adoption of a highly controversial law on counter-terror in China at the end of last year, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) held a high-level roundtable discussion on the issue on 7 June 2016.

The event, “China’s new Counter-Terrorism Law and its Impacts on Minorities”, which took place at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague, aimed at exploring the scope of the new legislation that came into force on 1 January 2016, and in particular its repercussions for groups as Tibetans and Uyghurs.

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Golog Jigme

Golog Jigme, leading human rights defender, briefs European Parliament, high-level officials in Brussels

March 18, 2016

Brussels – Tibetan Buddhist monk and former political prisoner Golog Jigme testified to the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights this week about his torture and imprisonment in Tibet and the need for the EU to challenge China’s oppressive policies.

During a visit to Brussels co-organized by the Office of Tibet in Belgium and the International Campaign for Tibet, Golog Jigme also met high-level representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and other senior officials including the President of the Flemish Parliament, members of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Tibet Interest Group of the European Parliament.

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Golog Jigme

Tibetan human rights defender and former political prisoner Golog Jigme meets German government, parliament representatives – “Appalling Chinese policies in Tibet must be challenged”

February 18, 2016

Berlin, February 18, 2016. Tibetan Buddhist monk and human rights activist Golog Jigme this week met representatives of the German government and parliament and gave testimony on his persecution and on the repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet. Golog Jigme, also known as Jigme Gyatso, was jailed and tortured for making the documentary “Leaving Fear Behind” in 2008 together with Dhondup Wangchen.

In a meeting with members of the Human Rights Committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, Golog Jigme said: “China’s denial of real freedom of expression and freedom of movement for Tibetans in Tibet as well as strict limitations of access to Tibet for foreigners, have resulted in the outside world not knowing what the real conditions of the Tibetan people are. Yet, the appalling Chinese policies in Tibet must be challenged.”

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‘Shameful’ decision as Deutsche Post DHL discontinues production of ICT’s Dalai Lama stamp in Germany

December 7, 2015

The German postal service Deutsche Post DHL has discontinued a stamp honoring the Dalai Lama initiated by ICT, saying that they would also not allow “portraits of Adolf Hitler” and other imagery it described as of “terrorist organisations”.

ICT had ordered the stamp to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in July, and it became popular, used to post letters from Germany globally.[1] But in an abrupt U-turn last week, Deutsche Post DHL announced that due to a change in its terms of service, persons of public interest “outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany” could not be portrayed on the stamps and ICT’s Dalai Lama stamps were discontinued.

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Amid pomp and circumstance of Xi state visit, backlash on ‘great British kowtow’

October 20, 2015

Xi Jinping received a ceremonial state welcome of the highest order in Britain today amidst a public backlash against the UK government’s compliance to the Beijing leadership.

As Xi travelled along the Mall in a horse-drawn carriage with the Queen, past cheering Chinese students, media attention was focused on Tibet, Uyghur, Falun Gong and dissident Chinese protesters. There was also disappointment expressed in Parliament as the visit coincides with job losses in the UK steel sector, with cheap Chinese imports among factors being blamed.

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German stamp

New postage stamp in Germany recognizes Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

July 2, 2015

A postage stamp celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday and created by the International Campaign for Tibet, will be available in Germany. The postage stamp, valued at 62 cents, is a product of the German Postal Services. ICT-Germany Executive Director Kai Müller: “This postage stamp is a rare recognition of the popularity of the Dalai Lama in Germany; it is sure to become a collector’s item. It is our way of honoring the world’s most famous Buddhist, the exiled religious leader of Tibet.”

The stamp can be ordered at the International Campaign for Tibet in Germany ([email protected]).

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Elena Gaita

UN Urged to Ensure Freedom of Expression and Opinion in Tibet

June 18, 2015

In a statement responding to the report by Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ms. Elena Gaita made a statement on behalf of Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 18, 2015 urging the UN to ensure freedom of expression and opinion in Tibet.

Ms. Gaita, who is the Policy and Advocacy Officer at the International Campaign for Tibet office in Brussels, said in her statement, “In the current political climate in Tibetan areas of the PRC, almost any expression of cultural or national identity can be characterized as ‘splittist’ and ‘criminal’ with harsh punishments imposed. Control and surveillance, online and offline, are part of daily life.”

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EU must include Tibet in upcoming Strategic Dialogue with China

April 30, 2015

Brussels – The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini must address the worsening human rights situation in Tibet during her upcoming visit to China on the occasion of the Strategic Dialogue to be held on 5 – 6 May.

In a recent letter addressing the High Representative, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) called on her to ensure that human rights, both in Tibet and mainland China, remain at the forefront of her agenda and meetings with the Chinese government.

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Marina Sereni

Tibet hearing in Italian Parliament and ICT advocacy during Dalai Lama visit, Oped published in Italian newspaper

June 12, 2014

The International Campaign for Tibet worked to put Tibet on the political agenda as the Dalai Lama arrived in Italy this week. ICT President Matteo Mecacci spoke at a hearing at the Human Rights Committee of the Chamber of Deputies in Rome today and briefed government officials on Tibet in advance of Italy assuming Presidency of the European Union on July 1.

Matteo Mecacci, President of ICT, said: “We have met members of the government, including the Undersecretary of State Benedetto Della Vedova, high ranking diplomats and parliamentarians to brief them about the situation in Tibet and raise awareness on the repressive policies employed by the Chinese government. In particular, I stressed the growing militarization, the criminalization and collective punishments following self-immolations, the plight of political prisoners, and the state control on Tibetan Buddhism.”

New Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met Chinese President and Party chief Xi Jinping on June 11 in Beijing on his first visit to China as Italy’s leader. Renzi’s visit to China coincided with the Dalai Lama’s arrival in Italy on June 10, beginning with an important Tibetan religious and cultural institute in Tuscany, Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Pomaia.

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Candidates to the European Parliament are taking a stand for Tibet

May 22, 2014

Brussels – The pledge “2014 for Tibet” launched by The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has gained the support of 73 candidates to the European Parliament (EP). There are 41 re-running Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and 32 candidates, who have promised to stand for the rights and freedoms of the people of Tibet during the upcoming mandate.

The ICT EU Policy Director Vincent Metten emphasized that signing up to “2014 for Tibet” is strong commitment and a clear indication that the next EP continues to draw attention to ongoing human rights violations in Tibet and insist addressing this issue with the Chinese authorities.

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Dalai Lama

International Campaign for Tibet and the Tibet Community Netherlands awards Dalai Lama a medal to mark 25th anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize

May 12, 2014

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the Tibetan community in the Netherlands marked the 25th anniversary of the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize by presenting the Tibetan religious leader with a medal on May 10.

The award was given to the Dalai Lama upon his arrival in the Netherlands for a three-day visit as part of his European tour.

Tsewang Loanzoen, Chair of the Tibetan Community Netherlands said: “We wanted to offer His Holiness our heartfelt gratitude for his tireless crusade not only for the Tibetan people, but for a more peaceful world, on this significant anniversary of 25 years as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.”

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EESC

At the 55th anniversary of the Tibet uprising, a European Tribute

March 10, 2014

The European Economic and Social Committee’s President, Henri Malosse, was a special Guest and speaker at the ceremony of the 55th anniversary of the Tibet uprising that took place today in Dharamsala (India). As the only president of the European Union to visit the government of Tibet in exile, he wanted to pay tribute to the victims of the repression in Tibet and through them to all the people deprived of liberty in China and everywhere in the world.

“The Tibet question is universal”, said Henri Malosse from the stage, “it is a question of liberty, democracy and solidarity, which are the values at the foundation of the European Union”. As such, Europe has these values as a legacy and must defend them everywhere they are in danger in order to find a sustainable solution. Thus, support must be brought to the Middle way approach of Tibetans – Umaylam – and to the dialogue with China. It is the same approach that claims for a European involvement in the recent events in Crimea, not by following the other actors such as Russians or Americans, but by being more coherent and imposing dialogue between all the stakeholders. These thoughts were shared by the delegation of EESC members: Anne-Marie Sigmund, Madi Sharma and Tomasz Jasiński.

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An appeal to protect universal justice in Spain

February 21, 2014

The International Campaign for Tibet and the Spanish Tibet Support Committee, Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT) are targeting Spanish lawmakers to challenge the recent move in Madrid to limit the power of the judiciary to investigate and prosecute serious crimes under international law. This development follows pressure from the Chinese authorities on Madrid over two lawsuits focusing on China’s leadership for its policies in Tibet, and which has led to arrest warrants being issued by the Spanish courts for several Chinese officials. (Details in ICT report, Spanish Parliament ruling following arrest warrants for Chinese leaders ‘should be of concern to all European citizens’).

This new initiative follows the 100th meeting of the Tibet Intergroup in Brussels on February 19 (ICT press release, European Parliament marks its 100th meeting on Tibet with strong statements and a message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama) in which MEPs from all parties expressed their strong support for the Tibetan cause. Speakers Dr. José Elías Esteve Moltó, lawyer and author of the two ground-breaking law suits in Spain and Mr. Alan Cantos from Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (main plaintiffs), raised the importance of a unified front in Europe to support Spanish lawmakers who are seeking to prevent a change in the law that would limit courts in trying cases of the most serious crimes regardless of where they were committed and the nationality of the perpetrator and/or the victim. This development would put Spain in breach of its international obligations and offer the prospect of impunity to many responsible for serious crimes.

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Lithuania’s debt to Tibet

Published online September 20, 2013 by the European Voice.
Please read the full article here.

Lithuania has repaid the Dalai Lama for his support during the last days of the Soviet Union, by resisting Chinese arm-twisting

If I were the Chinese Communist Party, I’d think twice before picking a fight with Lithuania. The pro-independence leadership in Vilnius, armed with nothing more than stubbornness and clear-sightedness, exposed the arrogant, brutal and mendacious approach of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Kremlin, and inspired captive peoples and nations throughout the evil empire, speeding its end.

Most outsiders told the Lithuanians that they were rash, unrealistic and even outright dangerous, especially after 11 March 1990, when the parliament issued a declaration restoring pre-war independence: how could a country of 3.7 million take on a nuclear superpower?

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Dalai Lama and the President of Lithuania

Lithuanian President meeting with Dalai Lama highlights importance of EU solidarity

September 12, 2013

Many leaders in the world have met the Dalai Lama in recent years but it is only the second time that the exiled Tibetan religious leader has met the head of the country holding the EU Presidency, writes Vincent Metten.

On September 11, 2013 President Dalia Grybauskaite welcomed the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, to Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. In a moving video, President Grybauskaite told the Dalai Lama she was ‘honored’ to receive him. The Lithuanian leader’s actions were all the more significant as they followed a deep freeze in China’s relations with the UK after UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in London last year. The meeting was also an important signal as Lithuania currently holds the six-monthly rotating Presidency of the European Council.

Two years ago, President Grybauskaite’s Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Ilves, also met with the Dalai Lama. Many other leaders in the world have met the Dalai Lama in recent years such as US Presidents Bush and Obama, German Chancellor Merkel, the President of the European Commission Barroso, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofsadt, the late Czech President Vaclav Havel, and others. But it is only the second time that the exiled Tibetan religious leader has met the head of the country holding the EU Presidency.

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Tibet Intergroup

Tibet Intergroup Hosts Landmark Environmental Event

June 20, 2013

BRUSSELS: The offices of MEPs Satu Hassi (Greens), Thomas Mann (EPP) and Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D) of the Tibet Intergroup of the European Parliament, the Office of Tibet, Brussels, the International Campaign for Tibet and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) jointly organised a seminar at the European Parliament on the state of Tibet’s environment on 19 June. Mixing politics, human rights and environmental sciences, this hearing was the occasion for all to discover the multiple facets of Tibet’s struggle against the degradation of its land, air and water.

Keynote speaker, Mr Tenzin Norbu, head of the Environment and Development Desk of the Central Tibetan Administration, gave a presentation focused on resource exploitation, nomads and climate change. Introducing the “third pole” concept, he stressed that Tibet is currently the largest reservoir of fresh water in the world due to its glaciers, permafrost and rivers. However, these resources are in danger of disappearing fast due to over-exploitation of minerals and forests on the Tibetan plateau. Combined with climate change, these activities have a strong impact on flood risks and the timing of the monsoon season on which billions in South East Asia depend for agriculture.

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