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Dalai Lama says lack of access to information is an obstacle to peaceful change in China

April 29, 2015

The Dalai Lama has said that one of “the great obstacles to peaceful change in China at present is that the Chinese people have only limited access to reliable and realistic sources of information.” In a message to the10th Interethnic /Interfaith Leadership Conference is taking place in the Washington, DC. Region, he said, “If the Chinese leadership were to adopt more practical and realistic policies, it would be possible for the issues faced by Tibetans, Mongols, Uyghurs, and even the Chinese people themselves, to be addressed in a just manner.” “The Chinese leadership emphasises the need for harmony and stability, but attempting to create these conditions by use of force is counterproductive,” the Dalai Lama added.

Following is the full text of his message read at the conference by Mr. Kaydor Aukatsang, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas, on April 27 morning. The conference, organized by the Initiatives for China, is being held from April 27 to 30, 2015. It is being participated by Chinese, Uyghurs, Mongols, Taiwanese as well as Tibetans from Dharamsala, Taiwan and the United States. Messages from Members of Congress as well as a video message from Sikyong Lobsang Sangay were conveyed to the delegates during the inaugural session.

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New report documents endemic torture in Tibet and climate of impunity

February 26, 2015

A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet documents a pattern of torture and mistreatment by Chinese prison officials of Tibetans, including 14 of them who have died, as a consequence, between 2009 and 2014.

This report, “Torture and Impunity – 29 Cases of Tibetan Political Prisoners” details specific cases of the 14 Tibetans, from an educated Tibetan in his early forties to a Buddhist teacher, who died as a result of torture in custody as well as the 15 others who survived but are still suffering. It also details the impact of imprisonment – whether extra-judicial, interrogation or a formal sentence – on the lives of Tibetan political prisoners released over the past two years whose ordeals have become known to the outside world, despite rigorous controls on information flow.

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Petition delivered to Facebook to let Tibetan voices be heard

January 28, 2015

ICT President Matteo Mecacci and Care2 (a pioneer of online advocacy) Vice President Joe Baker visited the headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park, CA, on January 27, 2015 and delivered 20,449 signatures on a petition addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the right of Tibetan voices to be heard on the social network forum without any censorship.

The petition stated that on December 26, Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser used her Facebook page to post a report and video of a Buddhist monk’s self-immolation in Tibet. Within hours, Facebook deleted the post because it allegedly violated the social media giant’s “community standards.”

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Tibetan man self-immolates in Golog. Harrowing image reaches Tibetans in exile.

October 6, 2014

A 42 year-old Tibetan, Kunchok, set himself on fire outside a police station in the Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province on September 16, according information received from Tibet. Image of Kunchok with his face completely burnt has reached Tibetans in exile.

Kunchok’s self immolation took place in Tsangkor town in Gade (Chinese: Gande) county in the Prefecturebut Tibetans nearby managed to extinguish the flames. Kunchok was rushed to hospital, and was deeply distressed that he had survived, according to Tibetan sources. Although the self-immolation happened on September 16, news only reached Tibetans in exile yesterday (October 5) due to restrictions on information and tightened security in the area.

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Lhamo Tashi

Tibetan student sets fire to himself outside government office in Northeastern Tibet

September 22, 2014

A Tibetan student, Lhamo Tashi, set fire to himself and has died on September 17 outside a government Public Security Bureau headquarters in Tsoe City, northeastern Tibet, where he was studying. It is the first self-immolation for five months in Tibet, and the 132nd by a Tibetan in Tibet and China. News of his self-immolation has been circulating on Chinese social media.

After setting himself on fire at around midnight, Lhamo Tashi, who was in his early twenties, was taken away by police in Tsoe City, the capital of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province (the Tibetan area of Amdo). Tibetan sources said it was not clear whether he had died on the scene or not. When they became aware that he had set fire to himself, his family approached the authorities, who refused their request for the return of his body if he had died. Two days later on September 19, Lhamo Tashi’s family was given his ashes.

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ICT highlights extra-legal detentions in Tibet on U.N. International Day of Enforced Disappearances

August 29, 2014

On the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30, 2014, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) calls for an end to a wave of enforced and extra-legal disappearances across Tibet, in particular following intensified repression after the self-immolations began in 2009.

There has been a new spike in enforced disappearances since the self-immolations in Tibet in 2009. The authorities’ draconian response to the more than 130 self-immolations across Tibet has included reprisals against those allegedly associated with self-immolators, including friends, families, witnesses to the act, and even entire communities.

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Lobsang Tsundue and Lobsang Dargye

New wave of repression in Tibet following quasi-legal response to self-immolations

“Acts of significant evil” – The criminalization of Tibetan self-immolations: an ICT Special Report

July 31, 2014

Chinese Communist Party has responded to Tibetan self-immolations with an intensified wave of repression that has led to the convictions, detention without trial, or disappearance of at least 98 Tibetans by using a quasi-legal framework to criminalize them.

A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) documents the impact of rulings announced in December 2012, a month after Xi Jinping became head of the Chinese Communist Party. The new measures, adopted in response to self-immolations across Tibet (now totalling 131), have resulted in a spike in political imprisonments, including one instance of the death penalty, and numerous cases of Tibetans being ‘disappeared’, with family and friends unaware of whether or not they are still alive, often for weeks or months

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ICT welcomes release of Dhondup Wangchen

June 5, 2014

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the release of filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen. The award winning filmmaker was released as his prison term of six years came to an end, according to a press release by Filming for Tibet which has campaigned for his release.

“He was held six years too long for simply making a film. Freedom of expression is a universal right and must be exercised by all citizens. We are glad Dhondup has now left the prison and we hope he will soon be able to rejoin his family,” said Matteo Mecacci, President the International Campaign for Tibet.

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Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama engages with President Obama for third time

February 21, 2014

His Holiness the Dalai Lama met President Barack Obama today for nearly an hour at the White House. During the meeting, President Obama expressed his deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet, and reiterated his support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet, according to a statement issued by the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala this morning (February 21). It was the third meeting during President Obama’s presidency, and fourth time overall.

Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “This meeting affirms the long-standing friendship and respect of the United States toward His Holiness, his message, and his cause. American policy-makers understand that the stability Chinese leaders seek will not be fulfilled without a solution on Tibet. The steadfast U.S. support for dialogue and preservation of Tibet’s unique heritage is reflected both through this meeting and through its Tibet policy and programs. ICT will continue to work at the global level to strengthen the political support for the Tibetan cause, while China increases its pressure and influence on democratic governments worldwide.”

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Tibet case in the Spanish court

Spanish judge orders arrest warrants for Chinese leaders on day before Spanish Parliament vote on legal reform

February 11, 2014

Spanish High Court Judge Ismael Moreno issued orders to be conveyed to Interpol for the detention of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and four other Chinese leaders for their policies on Tibet. The ruling comes a day before the Spanish Parliament votes on legal reform (February 11) that would effectively shut down the cases.

The unexpected development follows intense judicial discussions behind the scenes in the Madrid National Court (Audiencia Nacional) about how to proceed since appeal judges ruled that the warrants should be issued in November 2013 (ICT report, Spanish criminal court orders arrest warrants against Chinese leaders following Hu Jintao indictment for Tibet policies).

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Cover photo of the album

Tibetan singers jailed after release of songs about self-immolation, Dalai Lama

Singers Pema Trinley, 22, and Chakdor, 32, from Me’urama nomadic village in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) were first detained in July 2012 days after the release of the album, entitled ‘The Agony of Unhealed Wounds’. News of their sentencing in February has only emerged recently. Their music DVD included songs in praise of the Dalai Lama, exiled head of Kirti monastery Kirti Rinpoche, and Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan political leader in exile. The singers’ families have not been able to see them since they were imprisoned, and their current location is unknown.

A musician called Khenrap and lyricist Nyagdompo who worked on the album have disappeared, according to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD, ‘So many myriad hellish sufferings’: Persecution of Tibetan artists).

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Vigil for the Panchen Lama in Washington, DC

Tibetans and Tibet supporters in the Washington, D.C. area held a candlelight prayer vigil in front of the Chinese Embassy here on April 26, 2006 evening to mark the 17th birthday of the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. The vigil began with the recitation of the special prayer for the wellbeing of the Panchen Lama […]

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