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1 sheet movie poster

In 2001, the Chinese Government launched the Gormo-Lhasa Railway project (Quinghai-Tibet) that could inextricably tie Tibet to China. The controversial rail link is a politically driven project, which is a cornerstone of China's efforts to tighten its control over Tibet. Canadian company Bombardier has signed a contract to supply railcars for this railway, thereby facilitating China's occupation and colonisation of Tibet.

Beijing Olympics
Since the IOC's controversial decision to award the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing in July 2001 Free Tibet Campaign has condemned its decision and vowed to intensify its opposition through intense lobbying and campaigning in the run-up to the event.

Stop The Torture
Free Tibet Campaign believes that torture must stop in Tibet. Our campaign 'Stop The Torture In Tibet' aims to draw the world's attention to the endemic nature of torture in Tibet's prisons, detention centres and labour camps despite China's own apparent prohibition on torture.

Panchen Lama
In May 1995, Chinese occupying forces abducted the six year-old Panchen Lama from his home in Tibet. No one there has seen or heard from him since. His abduction was a crime not only against an innocent child, but against the Tibetan nation and its way of life.

Free Tibet Campaign deplores Google's capitulation to political pressure from China to provide a web-based search engine for the Chinese market that prohibits access to information about Tibet and other sensitive political issues, such as the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Urgent Campaigns
Members of the Urgent Campaigns Scheme receive immediate information on important cases needing their individual support. The majority of cases require letters, emails and/or faxes to be written to relevant authorities. On average there are 10-12 cases per year.
Information about receiving Urgent Campaigns by email

Economic Campaign
Free Tibet Campaign is the only UK NGO campaigning against the destructive impacts of China's Western Economic Development Strategy. This Strategy, announced in Beijing in 2000, includes projects which threaten the local environment and original culture whilst bringing little or no benefit to the Tibetan people.

Political Prisoners

Archive section containing all Campaigns

Beijing 2008 Olympics: Background Information

Beijing Olympics Since 2001, when Beijing was awarded the Olympic Games, Free Tibet Campaign has repeatedly called for action by the IOC and the UK Government to turn into reality the International Olympic Commitee's (IOC) famous "bet", that staging the Olympics in China would be a force for good.

Free Tibet Campaign's key demands include:

  • China to honour the Olympic Truce by entering into unconditional dialogue over the future of Tibet with the Dalai Lama's representatives.

  • That China adheres to its promise of media freedom by 2008 (a promise made during Beijing's winning press conference in July 2001).

  • That the IOC makes the content of the Host City Contract public, particularly those parts that relate to the control of dissent at the time of the Olympics.
  • Tibet campaigners have met with the IOC on two occasions - in December 2001 and October 2002. In the latter meeting, the IOC refused to lift the ban on political meetings and demonstrations during the Games, or to disclose the controversial Host City contract, despite promises by Jacques Rogge, the IOC President, to protect human rights.

    In July 2005 Free Tibet Campaign congratulated London on its successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Singapore. Whatever the value to Britain of hosting the Olympics, the decision provides Free Tibet Campaign with many more opportunities to raise awareness of its Beijing 2008 Olympic campaign. As Britain has become a fellow custodian with China of the Olympic ideal, Free Tibet Campaign is calling upon the UK Government to commit to a special initiative that will secure a negotiated settlement for Tibet and improve human rights in China before the Beijing Games of 2008.

    "If our Government really wants to make Britain proud, it will back Tibet," said Yael Weisz-Rind, Director of Free Tibet Campaign. "We have no doubt that London is capable of hosting a truly great Olympics, but unless there is substantial progress on Tibet and human rights in China, the 2008 Games in Beijing will be badly tarnished."

    Further Information


    2004 - China Plays Games With Human Rights
    This report, published by the International Tibet Support Network, compares the potential "force for good" of the Olympics with the reality. It explores issues of conflict resolution, media freedom and the control of dissent in China. (PDF 124k)

    2003 - Telling Olympic Lies: SARS, the IOC and Beijing 2008 Highlights how the recent SARS crisis should act as a 'wake-up call' for the International Olympic Committee and reveals the outcome of the meeting with the IOC President Jacques Rogge in October 2002. (PDF 190k)

    2002 - Beijing 2008: Taking a Bet on the Olympic Ideal Documents the woeful lack of progress to date by China and the International Olympic Committee towards realising Executive Director Francois Carrard's infamous "bet" that the Olympics would be a force for good in China. (PDF 1.2MB)

    News and Press Releases

    14 Feb 2007Free Tibet Campaign to Demonstrate at Mayor's Reception for Chinese Officials

    13 Dec 2006Free press for Olympics? Not for Tibet

    28 Sept 2006 China announces tough media restrictions for 2008 Olympics

    8 Aug 2006 Two-year countdown: Beijing Olympic "dream" conceals nightmare for Tibet

    6 Feb 2006 Protests planned by Tibet groups during the Winter Olympic Games

    6 Feb 2006 Three Buddhist nuns and two monks sentenced following calls for no Beijing Olympic Games until Tibet issue is peacefully resolved

    6 July 2005 Britain's custodianship of Olympic ideals confers special responsibility to help Beijing free Tibet by 2008

    4 July 2005 Tony Blair called on to "make Britain proud and back Tibet"

    30 Aug 2004 Tibet Campaigners Detained in Beijing for Olympics Protest

    29 Aug 2004 Peaceful Protest by Tibet Activists Halted by Police in Advance of Olympic Closing Ceremony

    5 Aug 2004International Olympic Committee's 'bet' that the 2008 Olympic Games will improve human rights in China shows no sign of fulfilment

    7 July 2003Report calls on IOC to stop playing with human rights in China.

    12 Feb 2003IOC President rejects call for human rights standards for Olympic Games.

    22 Nov 2002Free Tibet Campaign calls for Human Rights to top the Olympic Games reform agenda.

    15 Oct 2002IOC President to meet with Free Tibet Campaign.

    10 July 2002One year down, six to go: a year on from winning the right to hold the 2008 Olympic Games.

    13 July 2001International Olympic Committee awards Beijing 2008 Games.

    13 July 2001Beijing awarded 2008 Olympic Games. Protest to intensify.

    12 July 2001China, IOC try to shut out human rights concerns.

    11 July 2001Eight Arrested as Tibetans Demonstrate against Beijing's Olympics Bid.

    1 July 2001Campaign against Beijing's bid to win the 2008 Olympics.

    14 May 2001China reminded that Olympics "are not above politics".

    19 Feb 2001IOC delegation visit Beijing on fact-finding mission for 2008 Olympics.

    Useful Link

    The campaign '2008-FreeTibet' uses the Beijing Olympics to pressure the Chinese authorities for a fundamental change in occupied Tibet.

    Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 14:27 GMT
    Bjork makes 'free Tibet' gesture
    Icelandic singer/actress Bjork
    Bjork has a track record of courting controversy and surprising her fans
    The Icelandic singer, Bjork, has caused controversy among fans in China by shouting "Tibet! Tibet!" at the end of a concert in Shanghai.

    The cry followed a powerful performance of her song Declare Independence.

    Talk of Tibetan independence is considered taboo in China, which has ruled the territory since 1951.

    Although some at the concert appear not to have heard Bjork's protest on Sunday, there was an uneasy response from other fans.

    Shocked fans

    After the concert, held at the Shanghai International Gymnastics Centre, some negative reactions were posted on Chinese websites.

    Wow, the nerve! Where did she get the courage to do this? Weirdo!
    Comment on Chinese website

    "I like Bjork", said one, "it's OK for her to have a different point of view, but for her to do this is disrespectful to fans here - very selfish of her".

    Another fan said Bjork had "behaved like an angry young person, acting in an underhand manner, not like Brad Pitt and Richard Gere, who are better known Free Tibet supporters".

    According to one audience member, there was no booing after the outburst, but people left the concert venue hurriedly.

    Human rights activists and many politicians abroad have criticised Chinese policy in Tibet. Many Tibetans feel loyal to the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom China considers a separatist threat.

    The song Declare Independence has previously been used by Bjork to highlight other struggles for self-rule.

    She dedicated a performance of it in Japan last month to Kosovo. She has also used the song to campaign for Greenland and the Faroe Islands - territories controlled by Denmark.

    Bjork performed in two Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the United States in the 1990s.

    Her behaviour at the Shanghai concert has not been reported in the state-controlled Chinese media.

    Burma voices: Six months later

    Six months after protests in Burma ended in a military crackdown, people describe the atmosphere in the country and their fears for the future.


    Buddhist monks address a crowd at Shwedagon pagoda 23 September 2007
    Buddhist monks were the focal point of protests last September

    Life has been hard as ever. No change or hope has come yet to us.

    People no longer talk about politics for fear of arrest, accusations, safety and other frightening things.

    But everybody desires to know something more and to talk freely about these issues. Some day we hope to have our freedom or right to speak. Ha ha. What a joke!

    Everything has been over for nearly six months now. But some of us still recall it.

    Here, a referendum on a new constitution is drawing near. People are talking about it and no-one really knows what it is going to look like.

    But almost everybody accepts that the government will win it whether the constitution is ratified or not by the people in May.

    Even now almost everybody has little understanding of what the referendum is and what has to happen.

    I have been in the capital Nay Pyi Taw for a few months now. More construction sites are still being built as more NGOs and private companies have to move here somehow.

    They say Nay Pyi Taw is the capital and its future lies with the new democratic government body. There is no sign yet of how the military will stand after the results are out.


    I tell people not to even think about voting 'No' or 'Yes' [in the forthcoming referendum on a new constitution]. It means that you consider and accept it.

    Actually, the junta does not have the right to do anything for the country. It is an illegal government.

    Night is dark without electricity, water is scarce
    Even if the work done is good, and the result or outcome is exceptional progress as in China, it is unacceptable because it is a military dictatorship and the junta is unconstitutional - having no law, rules and regulations.

    Now the country suffers complete loss and ruin.

    Its people are totally destroyed both physically and mentally - the majority are living in a mess, eating junk food, leading a hand-to-mouth lifestyle.

    There is no guarantee for healthcare. If a man does not have enough money, in case one needs to go to hospital or a private clinic for serious cases, he should prepare to die. The cost is sky high.

    People now become mad and irrational as a result of poverty and a lack of education.

    Night is dark without electricity. Water is scarce. How is it like a modern and developed country to which, they say, they are marching?


    In recent times, we have not been able to use the internet because the government decreased the internet bandwidth during the visit of UN envoy Mr Gambari.

    Nothing has changed after six months in Burma. The military junta has arrested our leaders and many activists. Now they've spread many soldiers across Rangoon to break down any movements.

    They will have a constitutional referendum in May. They don't care for the UN and the international community.

    What would the UN do to get the true result from referendum?


    The internet connection was at its worst during the September revolution. There has been little improvement.

    Now the junta is showing its strength by patrolling around the town with trucks fully loaded with policemen
    Sending information to foreign media can be indicted by the junta and we will be jailed. But we the people of Burma take this risk by sending mails to foreign media because we have to let the people of the world know our situation in our country.

    The junta is putting heavy guards around Rangoon and monitoring the mails and the internet because they are going to hold a fake referendum in May.

    They haven't [at the time of writing] published the constitution we are to vote on. They dare not let the people of Burma study the constitution thoroughly and freely.

    Now the junta is showing its strength by patrolling around the town with trucks fully loaded with policemen and soldiers carrying guns. It is a warning to the people who go against the junta that they will be shot.

    Now the junta is arresting and putting into jail without giving reasonable explanation for the people who go against the junta.

    FUCK CHINA... Αίμα και Δάκρυα για τους Ολυμπιακούς του Πεκίνου...

    Οι Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες Στάζουν Αίμα....

    Συγκλονιστικές φωτογραφίες από τους Νεκρούς Θιβετιανούς Μοναχούς...
    και ακτιβιστές διαδηλωτές...

    Graphic photos of dead bodies from Kirti monatery in Ngawa, Sichuan, Tibet

    Released 18th March 2008


    For background, please read our earlier press releases.

    For further information please contact Matt Whitticase at matt@freetibet.org
    Or call on +44 (0) 207 324 4605/+44 (0)7515 788456

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    Photos: Beijing welcomes Olympic Flame, launches Torch Relay

    A welcome ceremony at Tian'anmen Square celebrates the arrival of the Olympic Flame in Beijing and launches the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay. These photos, taken on March 31, show the members of honor guard wait to take part in the welcome ceremony.

    Photos: Beijing welcomes Olympic Flame, launches Torch Relay
    Photos: Beijing welcomes Olympic Flame, launches Torch Relay