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Tibetan-Americans and Tibet supporters gather in Washington, D.C. for Tibet Lobby Day

February 28, 2018

Over one hundred Tibetan-Americans and Tibet supporters from all over the United States are gathering in Washington, D.C., to urge their elected representatives in the government to increase their support for Tibet and the Tibetan people. The 10th annual Tibet Lobby Day will take place from March 4 to 6, 2018.

They will ask Members of Congress to pass legislation that support the aspirations of the Tibetan people, most notably the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2017. They will also urge Congress to continue funding Tibet programs, advocate for the release of Tibetan political prisoners, promote access to Tibetan areas for journalists, citizens, and US officials, and to hold Chinese leaders accountable for their human rights violations in Tibet.

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ICT honors long-time activist Grace Spring with Light of Truth Award for being a symbol of activism for Tibet

February 20, 2018

On the auspicious second day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year, which fell on February 17, 2018, ICT President Matteo Mecacci bestowed a special Light of Truth award on Grace Spring in recognition of her many decades of work putting a spotlight on Tibet. The event took place in Burlington, VT, near Grace’s current residence, and was held in conjunction with the Tibetan Association of Vermont’s celebration of the Tibetan New Year. The Mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger, was present on the occasion.

Grace Spring is an artist, an activist and a Tibetan supporter who, for more than 18 years, held a solo vigil every Friday morning in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington with a Tibetan national flag and a placard, drawing attention to the plight of the Tibetan people.

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US Members of Congress Introduce Resolutions to Commemorate Tibet’s 1959 Uprising as “Tibetan Rights Day”

February 15, 2018

Today, Senators Leahy (D), Feinstein (D), and Cruz (R) and Representatives McGovern (D) and Hultgren (R), introduced companion resolutions to commemorate the 1959 Tibetan Uprising as “Tibetan Rights Day” on March 10, and to support the human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The resolutions recall that on March 10, 1959 the people of Lhasa rose to protect the residence of the Dalai Lama, fearing for his life, and that an estimated 87,000 were later killed during the ensuing violent crackdown orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party. Furthermore, the resolutions recalls that March 10, 2018 is also the tenth anniversary of the 2008 protests that started in Lhasa and then spread across the Tibetan plateau, which were brutally suppressed by Chinese authorities. At least 152 Tibetans have self-immolated inside the PRC in protest against Chinese rule since then.

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Tibetan Activist Dhondup Wangchen to testify before United States Congress, during first visit to Washington, DC

February 9, 2018

Tibetan video activist Dhondup Wangchen is visiting Washington, DC from February 9 to 15, 2018 to testify at a Hearing organized by the Congressional Executive Commission on China and will meet Congressional and Administration officials. The Hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 14 from 10am to 12pm in 301 Russell Senate Office Building. In addition to calling on the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he will also meet with Washington based NGOs as well as the Tibetan community.

Detained by Chinese authorities in Tibet in March 2008 for making the documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind” (in which ordinary Tibetans expressed their feelings about their situation in the light of the Beijing Olympics), Dhondup Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison for “inciting subversion”. His friend and assistant, Tibetan monk Golok Jigme, suffered from detention and torture, too. Dhondup was released at the end of his sentence in 2014, but continued to be deprived of his freedom.

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Latvian Parliamentarians Call for Fair and Transparent Judgement Process for Tibetan Language Advocate Tashi Wangchuk

February 6, 2018

On January 25th, Members of the Latvian Parliaments, including members of the Latvian Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, adopted a statement on the case of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk.

The signatories, twenty members of the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament) – out of a total of 100 parliamentarians – call for a “fair and transparent trial of Tashi Wangchuk” and “urges the People’s Republic of China to implement a judgement process that is constant with international legal standards, with the presence of observers at his trial”.

The statement follows a number of resolutions and statements calling for a fair trial for Tashi Wangchuk and/or his release –
including a resolution of the European Parliament and statements by French and German parliamentarians, adding to the growing international pressure in the case of the young human rights defender, who has been detained by the Chinese authorities since January 2016 and is still waiting for the verdict of his trial held on 4 January.

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Mercedes-Benz apologizes for use of Dalai Lama quote, helping Beijing to export its censorship worldwide

February 6, 2018

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is dismayed to learn that German carmaker Mercedes-Benz had apologized to the Chinese authorities for using a Dalai Lama quote on its Instagram page.

Reuters reported that Mercedes-Benz had posted an advertisement for its cars on Instagram with a quote from the Dalai Lama: “Look at situations from all angles and you will become more open”. The post quickly attracted the criticism of Chinese netizens, despite the fact that Instagram is not accessible in China except through VPN connections.
In reaction, Mercedes-Benz deleted the ad and posted an apology on its Weibo page. In it, the company apologized for its “extremely erroneous message” saying,

“Taking this incident as a guide, we will immediately take practical actions to deepen our understanding of Chinese culture and values - including for our overseas colleagues - and regulate our behavior to prevent such incidents from occurring again.”

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ICT to honor long-time activist for Tibet Grace Spring with Light of Truth Award

February 5, 2018

In consideration of her many decades of contribution in putting a spotlight on Tibet, the Boards of the International Campaign for Tibet have decided to bestow Grace Spring with a special Light of Truth Award.

Grace Spring is an artist, an activist and a Tibetan supporter who for more than 10 years held a solo vigil every Friday morning in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington with a Tibetan national flag and a placard, drawing attention to the plight of the Tibetan people.

In an interview to the Washington Post in December 1989, Grace said she initiated the vigil after the Chinese Government’s clampdown on Tibetan demonstrators in Tibet in 1987. “I asked myself what is possible for me to do as an American, just by myself,” Spring told the Washington Post. “It only takes one witness. I stand there, carrying the Tibetan flag and a sign.”

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European Parliament adopts an urgency resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Tashi Wangchuk and Tibetan monk Choekyi

January 18, 2018

Brussels – The European Parliament adopted today a new urgency resolution on China, expressing deep concern regarding the cases of two Tibetan political prisoners, the language advocate Tashi Wangchuk and the monk Choekyi.

The resolution which also covers the cases of Chinese human rights activists Wu Gan, Xie Yang, and Lee Ming-cheh “expresses its deep concern at the arrest and continued detention of Tashi Wangchuk, as well as his limited right to counsel, the lack of evidence against him and the irregularities in the criminal investigation; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Tashi Wangchuk”.

“The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the adoption of this resolution, which underscores once again the critical role of the European Parliament in standing up for victims of human rights abuses in China and Tibet” said ICT’s EU Policy Director Vincent Metten. “We hope that this strong-worded resolution, along with the expressions of concerns by a number of European governments and EU institutions in the last few months, will have an impact on the outcome of Tashi Wangchuk’s trial and on Choekyi’s condition. We also applaud the call for the resumption of the dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama and his representatives, the condemnation of anti-Buddhism campaigns and the adoption of the Counterterrorism Law, which could lead to the penalisation of peaceful expression of Tibetan culture and religion”.

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French President Macron should raise situation in Tibet on upcoming visit to China

January 4, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron should use his first visit to China from 8-10 January to send a signal to the Chinese leadership that France will not remain silent in face of the Chinese government’s attacks to the fundamental rights and freedom of the Tibetan people, said the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) today.

“This visit, which will be the first of President Macron in China, will set the tone for the Franco-Chinese relationship in the next few years and is therefore crucial,” said ICT’s EU Policy Director Vincent Metten. “The French President must use this opportunity to take a clear and strong stand on the gross human rights violations in Tibet. He should convey to his Chinese interlocutors, including President Xi Jinping, that the only way to reach a peaceful, mutual and long-term solution for China and Tibet lies in the resumption of a constructive dialogue between the Chinese government and the representatives of the Dalai Lama.”

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ICT fears for lack of fair trial for Tibetan language advocate

January 3, 2018

Tibetan shopkeeper Tashi Wangchuk, who has been in prison since January 2016 after he sought to defend Tibetans’ right to education in their own language, is due to be tried on January 4.

Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “Tashi Wangchuk did nothing more than defend a cultural right to use one’s own language, protected under the Chinese Constitution and international human rights law. He should never have been arrested, and it is indefensible that he now faces criminal prosecution, and the lack of a fair trial, and should be released immediately.”

Tashi Wangchuk was critical of Chinese cultural and educational policies on Tibetans in an interview with The New York Times in 2015, published in both print media and as a video that circulated widely. According to a microblog posted by his attorney, Liang Xiaojun, the Yushu Intermediate Court in Qinghai Province has scheduled the trial for January 4, 2018.

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Dhondup Wangchen arrives safely in the United States

International Campaign for Tibet welcomes former political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen to freedom and safety

December 27, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet strongly welcomes the news that Tibetan filmmaker and former political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen has been able to leave his homeland and reunite with his wife and children in the United States.

Despite having served his prison sentence, Dhondup continued to be limited in his freedom of movement, but was finally able to overcome those challenges, leave Tibet and pursue his deeply held desire to reunite with his family.

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Farewell to outgoing Office of Tibet Representative Penpa Tsering and Welcome to new Representative Ngodup Tsering

December 1, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet would like to express our appreciation to outgoing Representative Penpa Tsering of the Office of Tibet in Washington, D.C. and to welcome the incoming Representative Ngodup Tsering.

During his tenure in Washington, D.C., we enjoyed a very cooperative relationship with Representative Penpa Tsering and his team in our work with the US Congress, the Administration and with the Tibetan community in North America.

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House Committee to hold hearing on US Tibet Policy

SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING NOTICE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6128 Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific | Ted Yoho (R-FL), Chairman November 29, 2017 TO: MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS You are respectfully requested to attend an OPEN hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to be held […]

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ICT statement on China’s cancelation of matches in Germany after Tibet flags were displayed

November 27, 2017

  • Chinese football team cancels matches in Germany after Tibet flag displayed
  • Hostile response in Chinese media indicates unilateral decision after German FA defends freedom of speech

A round of friendly matches in Germany with China’s Under 20 national team was cancelled last Friday after a group of protesters unfurled Tibetan flags at a game last week in Mainz, causing the Chinese team to walk off the pitch.

In a response to the outrage from the Chinese side, Reinhard Grindel, president of the German Football Association, defended the right to free expression and said: “It has been made clear to the Chinese federation that when you play in Germany you also have to deal with the fact that anyone can express their opinion.”

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Bipartisan resolution supporting the Dalai Lama and Tibet introduced in the US Senate

November 17, 2017

A bipartisan Concurrent Resolution (S. Con. Res. 30) was introduced to the Senate on November 16, 2017 asking the Trump Administration to make Tibet an important factor in US-China relations. The Resolution calls on the Trump Administration to fully implement the US Tibetan Policy Act, to promote access of US citizens to Tibet, and to encourage China “to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement with respect to Tibet.” It complements a similar resolution introduced in the House of Representatives (H. Con. Res. 89) on November 1, 2017.

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On eve of President Trump’s China trip, bipartisan resolution introduced in US Congress supporting Dalai Lama and Tibet

November 1, 2017

On the eve of President Donald Trump’s visit to China to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, a concurrent Resolution (H. Con. Res. 89) has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives on November 1, 2017 asking the Trump Administration to make Tibet an important factor in US-China relations, to fully implement the US Tibetan Policy Act, to promote access of US citizens to Tibet and to encourage China “to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement with respect to Tibet.”

This resolution is co-sponsored by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with Representatives. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), the respective Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, The Representatives are all senior members of the House Foreign Relations Committee. President Trump, who is leaving on November 3 for a five-nation Asia trip, will be in China on November 8, 2017.

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ICT Statement on 10th Anniversary of Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama

October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the historic bestowal of the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor of the United States, to the Dalai Lama. The award ceremony was participated by then President George W. Bush, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House and Senate leadership, signifying the broad-based support for the Dalai Lama in the United States. The International Campaign for Tibet had the privilege to be actively involved in this Congressional initiative.

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International Campaign for Tibet Statement on China’s revised religious regulations

September 8, 2017

China’s revised regulations on religious affairs passed by the State Council this week intensify controls over religious activity and present a further threat to Tibetan Buddhists.

The updated version of rules put in place in 2005 passed by the Chinese government on Thursday (September 7) should be assessed against the background of a series of laws that can be viewed as a systematic development of a security architecture. Among those are the 2015 Security Law, the NGO Law (in force January 2017), the 2016 Counter Terrorism Law, and the Cyber Security Law (in force May 2017). These laws represent the Chinese Communist Party’s will to gain maximum control over every aspect of people’s lives.

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