Tag Archives | Germany

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.

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German MPs call for release of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk

January 29, 2018

Two members of the German Parliament (The Bundestag), have called for the release of detained Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, who currently awaits the outcome of his trial in Yulshul (Chinese: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (the Tibetan area of Kham in Qinghai Province).

The two parliamentarians, Claudia Roth and Maria Klein-Schmeink (both members of the Green Party group in the Bundestag) have sent an open letter to the Chinese ambassador to Germany, Shi Mingde, on January 26, 2018. In it, they urged him “to take effective measures to ensure Tashi Wangchuk’s freedom of speech as guaranteed by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” The letter goes on to “demand Tashi Wangchuk’s immediate release and the termination of proceedings as long as there is no legally valid evidence to substantiate the accusations against Tashi Wangchuk.”

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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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On eve of Germany’s Elections, Political Parties commit to support Dalai Lama and Tibet

September 20, 2017

Ahead of the 2017 Federal German Election scheduled for Sunday, 24 September, political parties currently represented in the parliament, the Bundestag, responded to questions on Tibet posed to them by the International Campaign for Tibet Germany, the Tibet Initiative Germany and the Association of Tibetans in Germany.

The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), DIE LINKE (The Left) and Alliance 90/ The Greens responded to 11 questions reaffirming their support to encouraging dialogue on Tibet. They were specifically asked about policy plans to advocate for human rights in Tibet, Tibet’s environment and direct dialogue between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government — in the Federal parliament, by means of official representations with the People’s Republic of China, and through international forums.

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ICT, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders ask German government to raise human rights issues with Chinese PM

May 30, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet, Amnesty International and Reporter Without Borders, have issued a joint statement calling on the German government to raise human rights issues with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who visits Berlin on May 31, for talks with the German government.

The three NGOs urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to raise the worsening human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China and to demand concrete steps to improve the situation, while pointing to the systematically heightened repression since Xi Jinping had become President of the PRC, be it in terms of repressive laws, the use of torture, unlawful detention and persecution of dissent, of activists and journalists, as well as repressive policies in Tibet and Xinjiang.

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ICT Chairman Richard Gere discusses Tibet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

February 9, 2017

Richard Gere, Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, met with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on February 9, 2017 and discussed the situation in Tibet. Gere updated the Chancellor on recent developments in Tibet and spoke about ways in which the international community could help mitigate the plight of the Tibetan people.

Gere is in Germany for the Berlin Film Festival where his latest film, “The Dinner” will premiere.

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International Campaign for Tibet welcomes concern by US, EU, Germany, Japan and Canada on sweeping new security laws in China

March 1, 2016

The International Campaign for Tibet today welcomed reports about concerns voiced by the United States, the EU, Germany, Japan and Canada with regard to sweeping new and planned security laws in the People’s Republic of China. As Reuters news agency reported today, the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and the European Union, in a rare joint action, have written to China to express concern over the recently passed law on counter-terrorism, the draft cyber security law, and the draft law on management of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “We welcome this important joint action by governments around the world including the EU, questioning China’s record on human rights. China’s newly built security architecture is a major threat to human rights in China and Tibet, as particularly Tibetans run even more danger to be persecuted for their peaceful expression of religion, belief or opinion. We are strongly concerned about the new counter-terror law which will specifically target Tibetans and Uighurs. We urge the Chinese government to repeal this law and amend existing drafts of the cybersecurity and the NGO law. The joint action by the United States, the EU, Germany, Canada and Japan should remind the Chinese government that the world is looking closely at how China evolves.”

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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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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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ICT asks German company Bosch for information on its involvement in China Surveillance and Security Fair

October 31, 2014

The International Campaign for Tibet has called upon German company Bosch to release information about the products it was selling at a major surveillance and security fair, China International Exhibition on Public Safety and Security, in Beijing from October 28 to 31. In a letter to Bosch sent on October 27, 2014, the International Campaign for Tibet asked Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner whether they made a Human Rights Impact Assessment prior to the decision to participate in the Fair. So far ICT has not received a reply.

Kai Mueller, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet in Germany, said: “The Chinese Communist Party-state seeks to cover up its repression and has deepened surveillance in order to maintain its authoritarian rule, but a German company should not be complicit. There has to be a red line. Bosch should not be endorsing the ethos of this event in Beijing, which is not in line with its corporate guidelines.”

Bosch’s participation in the Fair comes at a time when the Chinese government is cracking down on civil society and suppressing dissent. In order to assert the Chinese Communist Party’s dominance and control, the Beijing authorities have stepped up their attempts to crush dissent against one-Party rule and expand their attack on civil society. The Chinese authorities are using an aggressive ‘counter-terrorism’ drive to Tibet, as part of a larger effort taking place in Eastern Turkestan (Chinese: Xinjiang) and across China, to intensify militarization on the plateau and in an attempt to legitimize a harsher approach to peaceful Tibetan dissent.

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Snow Lion award

Compelling film on strategic significance of Tibet wins International Campaign for Tibet ‘Snow Lion’ journalist award

October 20, 2014

Berlin, October 20, 2014. Outstanding journalists from Germany were awarded the International Campaign for Tibet Germany’s “Snow Lion” award, which recognizes excellence in independent reporting on Tibet, at a ceremony attended by senior correspondents, writers including Chinese dissident Liao Yiwu and supporters of ICT in Berlin on October 18.

Prominent Chinese journalist Chang Ping, former chief commentator of the ground-breaking newspaper Southern Weekend who now lives in Germany after being forced to leave China and Hong Kong, spoke at the award ceremony about the dangers of reporting on China due to the Chinese government’s restrictions on journalists and extended reach to the outside world with the creation of new media outlets.

Filmmakers and authors Thomas Weidenbach and Shi Ming were awarded First Prize of the award, which is conferred by an independent jury, for their documentary “Struggle for Tibet”, a compelling film which reveals the strategic significance of Tibet to the Chinese leadership.

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Kai Müller

Kai Müller: ‘Dalai Lama is an irreplaceable symbol’

May 14, 2014

The Dalai Lama has been received rather coldly during his trip to Europe in May. While a thorn in China’s side he is a guiding light for peace in the eyes of many people around the world.

More than in the past, European politicians avoid big joint appearances with the Dalai Lama in order not to jeopardize economic relations with China. This is despite the fact that the Dalai Lama has resigned from his political role in 2011. How can we explain this contradiction?

Kai Müller:
The Chinese government has repeatedly stated its policy that neither the Dalai Lama nor the so-called “Dalai Clique” may travel to European countries and that the European governments should not provide support in any way. This is not new. Lately we do notice, however, a trend towards concessions to the Chinese government. We are concerned about this development because it shows how short term interests- most of them of economic nature – are being put above taking the uncomfortable stand for principles of international law. It reveals considerable weaknesses and results in a loss of credibility both internally and externally.

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French and German citizens call to prioritize human rights and Tibet in meeting China’s Party Secretary, finds new poll

March 24, 2014

An overwhelming majority of French and German citizens express solidarity and concern for the lack of respect for human rights and civil liberties of Tibetans; have a favorable opinion of the Dalai Lama and call on French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel to officially invite the Dalai Lama to their capitals, according to a new poll realized by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) in advance of Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe.

Also, in France, 90 percent and in Germany, 92 percent of citizens expressed their support for a meeting between China’s Party Secretary Xi Jinping and the Dalai Lama, to find a negotiated solution to the Tibetan issue.

The opinion poll, commissioned by the International Campaign for Tibet, showed that citizens in these two major European countries give greater priority to their leaders raising Tibet and human rights with the Chinese leadership, than pushing for commercial contracts.

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The recipients of the 2013 “Snowlion Journalist Award”

International Campaign for Tibet Snow Lion awards ceremony in Berlin

November 22, 2013

Journalists from Germany and Austria were awarded the International Campaign for Tibet Germany’s “Snow Lion” award for their reporting on Tibet at a salon attended by media, writers and supporters of ICT in Berlin on November 16.

The first prizewinner of the award, which recognizes excellence in independent reporting on Tibet and is conferred by an independent jury, was Austrian journalist Mara Simperler for her article “Freedom in Flames” (“Freiheit in Flammen”) which appeared in the Austrian magazine “2012”. Simperler published in-depth interviews with three Tibetans in exile in Dharamsala. Winner of the 2nd prize was German China correspondent Bernhard Bartsch for his article in the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” entitled “Buddha in the heart” (“Mit Buddha im Herzen”) which focused on Chinese interest in Tibetan Buddhism. For the second year running, ICT Germany awarded a research grant for a promising proposal by a young journalist; this year it was awarded to German journalist Nathalie Nad-Abonji for her proposal on Tibetan refugee children in Switzerland.

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China on the defensive as 11 countries challenge its policies in Tibet

October 22, 2013

Eleven countries spoke up to urge China to improve the human rights of Tibetans at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on October 22. The delegates cited the lack of religious freedom, minority rights, and access of UN officials to Tibet, and called on China to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama, during oral questioning at the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of China’s human rights record.

The questioning represented a broadening and deepening of concern for Tibet from China’s previous UPR in 2009, when four countries specifically mentioned Tibet at the Council session. More than 130 countries spoke up on China’s rights record, with many critical, and some, such as Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Russia, supportive. Each country was given only about 50 seconds to make a statement.

At the end of the session, China dismissed the concerns of countries that highlighted concerns about its human rights record (see below). Its full reply to oral and written questions will be reported on October 25.

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China’s abuses in Tibet highlighted at the UN Human Rights Council

September 20, 2013

As the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) prepares to review China’s overall human rights record next month, several countries have put China on notice with regard to its human rights violations in Tibet. The 24th session runs from September 9-27 in Geneva.

In General Debate on September 17, the delegate from Germany urged “China to address the deep-rooted causes of the on-going self-immolations in a peaceful manner, respecting cultural and religious rights of Tibetans.” (Minute 23:22.)

The European Union said that China must remember the pledges it has made to the Council as a part of its bid for re-election. The EU expressed its concern “about on-going reports of human rights violations in China, particularly the use of force against peaceful protests, especially in Tibetan-inhabited areas and Xinjiang.” (Minute 03:23.)

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Human Rights Committee of German Parliament passes joint declaration on Tibet

BERLIN, GERMANY April 24, 2011: The Human Rights Committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, has today passed a “Joint Declaration” criticizing the Chinese leadership for human rights violations in Tibet and disrespect for the Tibetan culture as the root cause for Tibetan self-immolations (to date, 117 Tibetans are known to have self-immolated in the […]

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