Tibet Weekly Update – August 14, 2015

A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.

 

ICT Report: Major troop movements in Tibet; hardline approach to Dalai Lama in key policy talks

Troops moving through Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) in Qinghai in July.

Troops moving through Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) in Qinghai in July.


Major troop movements, including tanks or heavy artillery in convoys of more than 200 vehicles, have been observed in different parts of Tibet in the buildup to the September 1 anniversary of the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which will be attended by Chinese leaders from Beijing. The People’s Liberation Army held major live fire exercises this week led by the Chengdu military district that oversees Tibet and the border areas. Meanwhile, the formation of a powerful new central group for ‘United Front’ work is likely to indicate an upgrading of the department and a strengthening of control.


 

Rowell Fund for Tibet to receive applications for 2015-2016 Grant Cycle

The Rowell Fund for Tibet seeks to support Tibetans who can make a significant contribution to their community and/or an international audience in the fields of visual arts and media, and environmental and women’s rights.

The application form for the Rowell Fund for Tibet’s 2015-2016 grant is now available for download. Application materials will be accepted from September 1 to September 30, 2015 (midnight Eastern Standard Time). For more details and a link to download the application, please click here.


 

Tibetan nomad Runggye Adak released after eight years in prison for bold protest

Runggye Adak, one of Tibet’s most well-known political prisoners, was released July 31 after serving his eight year prison sentence after he made a bold statement of support for the Dalai Lama in front of an audience of thousands at a horse festival in 2007. According to reports from Tibetan exiles in contact with the region, Runggye Adak was taken straight to his home by the authorities. Officials may have done this without informing his family in order to prevent any public celebrations of his release.


 

Open letter to UN Member and Observer States for joint action to address worsening crackdown on human rights defenders and lawyers in China

ICT has joined China Labour Bulletin, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, and International Service for Human Rights in signing a letter calling for action on China’s human rights backslide:

We call on all States to use the platform of the Council to urge China to cease its targeting of human rights defenders; immediately release all those arbitrarily detained; respect and enable the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; and provide for transparent investigations and adequate remedies for those affected by this crackdown.

For the full text of the letter, including recommendations for specific tools to raise these issues, please click here.


 

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