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Candlelight Vigil & Rally for a Tibet at Start of Beijing Olympics

August 5, 2008

US Tibet Committee
August 4, 2008

(New York) - US Tibet Committee (USTC), New York area Tibetans, and
Tibet supporters will be holding a candlelight vigil on August 7,
2008 at 7:00 p.m. in Union Square, New York City.  This vigil is for
all Tibetans who were killed following the protests against the
Chinese occupation in Tibet in March.  According to the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile, over 200 Tibetans have died as a result of the
harsh security crackdown against demonstrators inside Tibet.  In
addition, over 4,000 Tibetans were detained by the Chinese police
under suspicion of having participated in these protests.

On August 8, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be rally for
Tibetan freedom and human rights outside the Chinese Consulate on
42nd Street & West Side Highway in New York City.  The rally will be
followed by a march past the United Nations and will end at the
Chinese Mission to the UN at 350 East 35th Street.

After the Tibet protests were brutally crushed by Chinese
paramilitary forces, the Chinese Government re-started a program of
"patriotic re-education" sessions in all Tibetan areas and among all
classes and occupations of Tibetans.  In these political
indoctrination sessions, Tibetans are forced to denounce the Dalai
Lama, reject Tibetan independence and accept the Communist Party's
version of Tibetan history.  Those who refuse or fail to give the
"correct" political answers face harsh reprisals: monks & nuns are
expelled from the monastery, government workers are fired, ordinary
lay people are fined and, in some cases, the wrong answer can get the
person imprisoned.  China is also currently undergoing a purge of all
Tibetan monasteries to root out any supporters of the Dalai Lama or
Tibetan freedom.  Hundreds of monks and nuns have been detained and
tortured as a result of this purge.

In addition, China continues to ban foreign media from visiting Tibet
and conducting reports from Tibet without restrictions.  This is in
direct contravention of China's promises when it was awarded the
Olympic Games and where Chinese officials promised free and
unrestricted access to all foreign media.  Recently, Amnesty
International released a report that the human rights situation in
China and Tibet has worsened as the Olympic Games approach.  A copy
of Amnesty's recent report is available at
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/chinese-authorities-broken-promises-threaten-olympic-legacy-20080728.

USTC invites all friends and supporters of Tibet to participate in
the Candlelight Vigil on August 7 evening and the rally for Tibet on
August 8 from 9-5. You can also help USTC continue the important work
for Tibetan human rights by making a donation now and sending it to
our address in the sidebar.  All donations to USTC are tax-deductible.

*****
USTC was formed in 1977 and is the oldest Tibet advocacy NGO in the
United States.  USTC's mission is to promote human rights, democracy,
and freedom for Tibet and its people.

USTC is part of the International Tibet Support Network, a global
coalition of Tibet related non-governmental organizations, which
works to maximize the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement.
ITSN Member organizations hold varied positions on Tibet's future
political status, but all regard Tibet as an occupied country and are
dedicated to ending human rights violations in Tibet, and to working
actively to restore the Tibetan people's right under international
law to determine their own political, economic, social, religious,
and cultural status.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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