International Campaign for Tibet

A child wraps themselves in the Chinese flag

International Campaign for Tibet calls on Dutch Olympic Committee to support Olympic Torch re-routing (ICT PRESS RELEASE, April 4th, 2008)
In advance of meetings next week between the Executive International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of National Olympic Committees in Beijing, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in Amsterdam has personally delivered a letter to the Netherlands National Olympic Committee (NOC), expressing ICT’s deep concern at the security risks and the risks to civilians of unrest related to the Olympic Torch’s journey through Tibet and urged the Dutch NOC to convey these concerns during their meetings in Beijing.

Eight Tibetans killed in Kardze: new phase in protests in Tibet (International Campaign for Tibet, April 4th, 2008)
At least eight Tibetans were killed yesterday in eastern Tibet after armed police fired on a crowd of several hundred monks and laypeople after an incident in which monks were detained after they objected to an intensified 'patriotic education' campaign, including photographs of the Dalai Lama being thrown to the ground, according to reliable sources. State media confirmed the incident took place, characterizing it as a "riot" but did not mention any deaths (Xinhua, April 4). According to various sources, the authorities have strengthened 'patriotic education' campaigns in various monasteries following the protests in recent weeks, leading to increasing resentment. A new phase in protests across the Tibetan plateau appears to have developed in the form of responses to political campaigns requiring denunciations of the Dalai Lama.

ICT-Germany receives major funding from RTL-television - 919,863 Euro for Tibetan refugee children (Press statement by RTL television (translation by ICT), April 4th, 2008)
'Particularly in these days of renewed violence against the Tibetan people, the over nine hundred thousand Euros raised in the RTL Telethon 2007 has been more important than ever before to pay for the expansion of a Tibetan Children's village for Tibetan refugees children', explain RTL charity director Wolfram Kons and project mentor, German actor Hannes Jaenicke.

Turning point for Tibet (Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, April 3rd, 2008)
Below is the complete article written by Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy, followed by the version edited due to space constraints which appeared in the International Herald Tribune on April 3, 2008.

Speaker Pelosi introduces resolution on Tibet (International Campaign for Tibet, April 3rd, 2008)
Speaker Pelosi, with the members of a bipartisan congressional delegation that met on March 21 in Dharamsala with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, introduced House Resolution 1077 on April 3 evening which calls on China to cease the crackdown, release protestors, provide unfettered access to journalists and independent international monitors to Tibet, and engage in a results-based dialogue with the Dalai Lama. The resolution also cites the Tibetan Policy Act which calls for an official US government presence in Lhasa. The Speaker's introduction and full text of the resolution is attached.

Photos of soldiers-monks on movie set claimed to be from Lhasa unrest (International Campaign for Tibet, April 3rd, 2008)
In recent weeks images showing soldiers in Tibet carrying monks' robes have been distributed widely across the internet, with some commentators claiming they provide evidence that Chinese soldiers disguised themselves as Buddhist monks during unrest in Lhasa last month. ICT does not regard the images as credible evidence of this claim. Similar images, of soldiers carrying monks' robes in the Jokhang, are in ICT's possession, taken during a film shoot in Lhasa which involved soldiers appearing as monks. These current images are likely to be the same - in recent years soldiers have been hired to play monks in both Chinese propaganda movies and in mainstream foreign films - for instance, Michelle Yeoh's 'The Touch', shot in Lhasa in 2001.

Jokhang monks make bold protest: transcript (International Campaign for Tibet, April 3rd, 2008)

The Barkhor square in front of the Jokhang Temple during celebrations for the Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Award in October 2007
The Barkhor square in front of the Jokhang Temple during celebrations for the Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Award in October 2007

Seven Questions: What Tibetans Want (Foreign Policy, April 3rd, 2008)
The most vigorous Tibetan protests in decades have been crushed by Chinese soldiers and police. Tibet expert Robert Barnett explains why the most significant action is taking place outside Lhasa and what we can expect the Chinese to do next.

Eyewitness accounts of protests (Radio Free Asia, April 3rd, 2008)
The Washington, DC-based Radio Free Asia has compiled vivid eyewitness testimonies of the protests and riots that have swept across the Tibetan plateau in recent weeks, see: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/politics/2008/03/15/tibet_interviews/

Further protests, mass detentions, and new pressure to denounce Dalai Lama as crackdown intensifies (International Campaign for Tibet, April 3rd, 2008)
There have been further protests in the past few days in Tibet as the crackdown on the plateau deepens, with mass detentions in different areas and some monasteries encircled by troops. In some areas, including Kardze in Sichuan province (Kham) and Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), there are signs that the authorities are provoking further unrest and frustration by requiring local people to sign denunciations of the Dalai Lama. According to reliable reports received by ICT, in some rural areas of eastern Tibet many Tibetans have fled villages or nomad encampments and are hiding out elsewhere to avoid arrest.

Statement on Tibet from Desmond Tutu on Behalf of The Elders (The Elders, April 2nd, 2008)
The people of Tibet wish to be heard. They have long sought autonomy, and chosen negotiation and mediation as their means of attaining it. They now turn to protest. The Chinese government should hear their voices, understand their grievances and find a non-violent solution.

The Dalai Lama: An Appeal (The Dalai Lama: An Appeal, April 2nd, 2008)
I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the world leaders, Parliamentarians, NGOs and public who have expressed their concern over the recent deeply saddening and tragic events in Tibet. We are also grateful for their efforts in persuading the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with the peaceful protesters, while at the same time calling for meaningful dialogue to resolve the issue.

Speaker Pelosi Asks China to Free Tibetans Detained for Peaceful Demonstrations (April 1st, 2008)
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Chinese Government to free the Tibetans who have been imprisoned for peacefully protesting in Tibet. In remarks at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on April 1, 2008 on her congressional delegation trip to India and Europe,"The Chinese government is saying His Holiness is the instigator of violence --here is a person who is the personification of non-violence. They must have medical care brought in for those who have been deprived of it, to free those in prison who have been arrested for peacefully protesting."

Senator Lugar Asks China to Address Root Cause of Tibetan Unrest, Deplores China's Attack Against the Dalai Lama (April 1st, 2008)
U.S. Senator Dick Lugar, the Senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, has said that China "should address the root causes of the unrest, which are related to Tibetans� growing belief that their culture, religion and economic status are under threat from Chinese policies."

Tibetan-Americans Urge US Boycott of Olympics Opening Ceremony (April 1st, 2008)
Tibetan-Americans Urge US Boycott of Olympics Opening Ceremony

Note - these are the 15 most recent News articles. If you'd like to see all Tibet News, click here.

Jailed: Zeng Jinyan (l.), wife of activist Hu Jia, walked next to Mr. Hu’s mother after he was sentenced Thursday in Beijing.
Greg Baker

Critics say activist's sentence part of China's pre-Olympics crackdown

Hu Jia, known internationally for his criticism of China's ruling Communist Party, was given a 3-1/2 year jail sentence Thursday.

Reporter Peter Ford talks about the lengths Hu Jia, one of China's most vocal dissidents, has gone to in spreading his message.

Hu Jia, one of China's most vocal dissidents, was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in jail Thursday on charges of "inciting subversion of state power," bolstering what international human rights groups say is a pattern of increased repression ahead the Olympic Games.

"It's another step … in a major crackdown against those involved in almost any kind of activity that falls outside the accepted parameters," says Curt Goering, deputy executive director of the United States branch of Amnesty International.

Mr. Hu, who endured more than 200 days of house arrest before his detention last December, was convicted on the strength of articles he published on his website; interviews he gave to foreign media; and testimony, via Web-cam, he gave to a European Parliament hearing last November on human rights in China.

The court found that he had spread "malicious rumors and committed libel," the official news agency Xinhua reported.

Hu was unlikely to appeal, according to his lawyers, who said he had acknowledged "excesses" in his criticism of the authorities. He appears to have crossed the line with an essay he co-wrote last September with another prominent human rights activist, lawyer Teng Biao, in which they argued that "if there is no human dignity or human rights, then there can be no real Olympics."

Mr. Teng was abducted last month for 48 hours by men who claimed to be policemen but showed no identification. He was released after an international outcry.

"Those who have linked China's human rights responsibilities to its hosting of the Olympics have been among the most harshly treated," Amnesty International charged in a report this week. "It is increasingly clear that much of the current wave of repression is occurring not in spite of the Olympics but because of the Olympics."

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao rejected such charges at a March press conference. "As for critics' views that China is trying to increase its efforts to arrest dissidents ahead of the Olympic Games, I think all these accusations are unfounded," he said.

Figures published by the office of the General Procurator, China's top law enforcement official, contradict the prime minister, however, according to John Kamm, a US lawyer who has analyzed the statistics.

Seven hundred and forty-two people were arrested last year on political charges in the realm of "endangering state security," the highest number since 1999 and double the 2005 figure, Mr. Kamm said. "The trend is very definitely up."

The sentence imposed on Hu, whose criticism of the Communist Party and human rights abuses in China have attracted global attention, was a particular slap in the face for US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had personally appealed for the activist's release when she met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing last February.

The US Embassy here, in an unusually swift and public reaction to a human rights case, said it was "dismayed" by the verdict and urged China "in this Olympic year … to seize the opportunity to put its best face forward and take steps to improve its record on human rights and religious freedom."

Kamm, whose US-based Dui Hua nonprofit organization has enjoyed considerable success on behalf of Chinese political prisoners over the past two decades by making discreet approaches to the authorities, said he had encountered an unusually harsh mood among senior officials he had met during his current visit.

Although they are aware that Beijing's image has suffered after Tibetan unrest and human rights groups' criticism, he said, he had found "no sign that the Chinese government is inclined to make concessions to international public opinion."

A senior Chinese diplomat told him that concessions such as a light sentence for Hu or other activists "would be viewed as a sign of weakness," Kamm said. "They are afraid of encouraging other protesters. They seem committed to a very tough line."

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