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Document Exposes Intensification of State-sanctioned Religious Repression in Troubled Tibetan County

The front page of the Notice issued by Diru County government on 19 September 2015

Chinese authorities have intensified anti-religious campaigns by systematically converting Tibetan monastic institutions into Chinese government offices and the monastic population into Chinese Communist Party members in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in Kham province. These campaigns, implemented by the local County government and party through a new regulation, has severely curtailed the right to freedom of religion and belief of local Tibetans, particularly the monastics many of whom have been expelled and punished, as the authorities exercise absolute control over the functioning and administration over religious institutions. TCHRD recently obtained a copy of Document no. 224 issued by the Diru County government on 19 September 2015 that calls for the intensification and deepening of the campaign to purge and reform religious institutions. The document contains a set of regulations divided into three chapters, 24 sections and 74 articles and has been circulated …

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China detains yet another peaceful solo protesters in troubled Ngaba

Chinese security forces have detained another lone Tibetan protestor in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Tashi, 31, a layman, was detained immediately in Ngaba County town after he lodged a peaceful protest calling for Tibet’s freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama on 26 October 2015. “Carrying a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tashi walked on the main street of Ngaba County town and raised slogans calling for Tibet’s freedom and return of the Dalai Lama. However, he was immediately detained and taken away by the security forces,” a source told TCHRD. He is currently being held in a detention center in Ngaba County. Tashi hails from Village No. 5 of Meruma town in Ngaba County. He is married to Kalpe and the couple has four children, two of whom study at the local school in Meruma. In recent …

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Tibetan man imprisoned for helping send an appeal letter to UN released after about 10 years in prison


A Tibetan political prisoner was released on Tuesday, 27 October from a prison in Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province. Kelsang Sonam was released a year prior to the completion of his full prison sentence, according to the court release order. Kelsang Sonam returned home to a warm welcome from family, friends and relatives in his hometown of Arig in Dola (Ch: Qilian) County in Tsojang (Ch: Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province Kelsang Sonam was arrested and sentenced to ten and a half years in prison for ‘revealing state secrets’ in 2006. The ‘state secret’ that he revealed to the outside world was an appeal letter to the UN written by his friend Dolma Kyab while the latter was in prison. After his arrival home after release, he was welcomed by local Tibetans and his friend Dolma Kyab, who was also released in early October after serving ten and …

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New report critiques ‘rule of law with Chinese characteristics’ amid increased crackdown on civil society in China

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) released today a special report on the state of rule of law in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), entitled Rule by Law: Special Report on the Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics. The special report comes in the wake of a severe crackdown on human rights lawyers and advocates in the PRC, hundreds of whom have been detained, disbarred, harassed and intimidated in recent months.[1] Not only does this crackdown raise serious concerns for the status of human rights and civil society in China, the attack on Chinese lawyers directly impacts detained Tibetans who rely on their skill and courageous action to defend them against unfair legal proceedings. The increased repression in the PRC conflicts with ‘rule of law’ rhetoric used by Chinese leaders to bolster their claims of a reformed China. In 2014, PRC President Xi Jinping incorporated the …

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TCHRD condemns detention and intimidation of peaceful protesters in UK

Dr. Shao Jiang wearing a Tibetan flag and holding protest banners during the protest in London (Photo: Epoch Times)

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is appalled and disheartened that the London Metropolitan Police detained three peaceful protesters – a Chinese Tiananmen Massacre survivor and two Tibetan women – and searched their homes during the visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping to UK. On 21 October 2015, London police dragged Dr. Shao Jiang from the street, charged him with “conspiracy to commit threatening behaviour,” and seized two computers, an iPad, and a thumb drive from his house. This was a stark reminder of how much Dr. Jiang had endured while calling for democracy in China. It also demonstrated how far the United Kingdom (UK) had moved from its values. Dr. Shao Jiang held pieces of paper calling for democracy in China in front of traffic along Xi Jinping’s motorcade route. Dr. Jiang was actively involved in student movements for years before the Tiananmen Square Massacre on …

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Borderless Democracy: Election for Tibetans in Exile Inspires and Offers Lessons for the Future

From left: Mr Pradip Ghimire, Mr Ryan D. Whelan, Ms Kanchan Khatri and Ms Tsering Tsomo

DHARAMSALA, 20 October – The Asia Democracy Network (ADN), the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) wish to congratulate the Tibetan Community in Exile for turning out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right to select their leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner. These three network based organizations, ADN, FORUM-ASIA and ANFREL, believe that the preliminary Elections for Sikyong and Tibetan Parliament in Exile and the lessons learned from them will result in another important step towards consolidating democracy for the Tibetan Community. Compared to the same point in the 2011 election cycle, the 2015 Preliminary Election saw members of the Tibetan diaspora engage more actively and deeply in the Electoral process, as evident in the more vigorous debate, discussion, and campaigning evident during the pre-election period and the long queues of voters patiently waiting their turn to vote during the 18th October Elections. The people’s deeper …

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Asian Solidarity Mission to Observe Exile Tibetan Primary Election


A four-member delegation representing the Asia Democracy Network (ADN) and the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) will visit Dharamsala (India) to observe the preliminary elections for the Sikyong (‘Tibetan political leader’) and members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament from 15 to 20 October 2015. ADN is a civil society led multi-stakeholders’ platform among democracy advocates and human rights defenders dedicated to the strengthening of democracy and human rights. ANFREL is an Asian regional network of civil society organizations focused on elections and election monitoring; and strives to promote and support democratization at national and regional levels in Asia. ANFREL has served towards strengthening the democratization of countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, East Timor and Indonesia. The two main objectives of the delegation are to increase the profile of the exile Tibetan elections among the international community and analyze the current state of the …

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Tibetan man detained months after release from prison after serving five years

Samdup Gyatso after release from prison

Chinese police detained a Tibetan man called Samdup Gyatso in early September 2015 for allegedly violating the terms of his release from prison because he carrying “sensitive leaflet” while travelling from eastern to western Qinghai Province, according to information published by Radio Free Asia. Samdup Gyatso is currently being detained in Dashi County Detention Centre and nobody is permitted to see him. He was detained just months after release from prison serving five years. He was released in May this year and returned to his hometown in Serthang in Dashi (Ch: Haiyan) County, Tsojang (Ch: Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. On his release, he had been given strict orders not to move out of his hometown and has constantly been under police surveillance since his release. He is suffering from kidney disease which requires him to take regular medication. TCHRD earlier reported on his arrest and sentencing in 2010. …

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Mass expulsion of nuns and land grabbing in Tibet’s Diru County

Forced Display of fur-trimmed robes at the Horse Racing Festival at Sentsa

Chinese authorities have demolished a number of houses owned by Tibetans and appropriated their lands in the name of development, in addition to tightening control over monastic institutions and expelling over a hundred nuns in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) reveals that in Pekar (Ch: Baiga) Township in Diru County, for three days beginning from 27 September 2015, Sangye Yeshi, the Diru County government head visited Jada Gaden Khachoeling Nunnery and expelled 100 of the total 200 nuns from the nunnery. Of the remaining 100 nuns, 49 are officially registered nuns. The rest of 51 unregistered nuns has no legal right to study, and are now working in the monastery’s administration, shops and guesthouses. Last year, 26 nuns were expelled from this nunnery. The 100 expelled nuns have been barred from …

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Prominent Tibetan writer and teacher Dolma Kyab released after completion of over 10 years’ sentence

Dolma Kyab pictured here after release

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy welcomes the release of Tibetan writer and teacher Dolma Kyab from prison after completing 10 years and six months. Dolma Kyab was sentenced for writing a book. According to information received by TCHRD, Dolma Kyab received a warm welcome from family, friends and other Tibetans in his hometown of Arig in the Tibetan province of Amdo. Eyewitnesses say he is in poor health and some suspect he is suffering from complications related to stomach ulcer and kidneys. “He frequently gets dehydrated with his mouth and throat becoming dry,” an eyewitness told TCHRD. Latest photographs of Dolma Kyab show signs of premature aging and ill health. Dolma Kyab was released at 8 am local time on 8 October 2015 from Chushur (Ch: Qushui) Prison in Lhasa. At the time, two police officers from Dolma Kyab’s hometown in Dola (Ch: Qilian) County had come …

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