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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Premier Wen must be made to account for more than 1,000 missing Tibetans during UK visit

February 2, 2009

January 31 2008
Free Tibet Campaign

Free Tibet launches new campaign: “The Missing 1000”

As Premier Wen arrives in the UK today the fate and whereabouts of more
than one thousand Tibetans detained almost a year ago in connection to
protests remain unknown, and unaccounted for by the Chinese government.

Premier Wen is the second most powerful leader in the Chinese
government: his government has persistently refused to account for the
missing Tibetans despite repeated demands for information from bodies
such as the United Nations and the American Congressional Executive
Committee on China (CECC).

According to reports in the official China Daily, by 21 June 2008 the
Chinese authorities had released 3,072 of the 4,434 Tibetans detained by
9 April 2008 following the eruption of protests all over Tibet last
March. The Chinese government has failed to provide any further
information as to the legal status, medical condition and location of
the Tibetans who had not been released as of last June. This lack of
information places the missing Tibetans at greatly increased risk of
torture which, according to the UN Committee Against Torture as recently
as last November, is both “widespread” and “routine” in Chinese and
Tibetan detention centres.

Evidence that has emerged from Tibet indicates that detained protesters
have been tortured with impunity. The testimony of one monk, Jigme
Gyatso, about the abuse he suffered whilst in detention has been posted
on Youtube:

“I was beaten continuously for two days with nothing to eat nor a drop
of water to drink…..The second time, I was unconscious for six days at
the hospital, unable to open my eyes or speak a word……they lied to my
family members by telling them that they had not beaten me; they also
made me put down my thumbprint… on a document that said I was not
tortured.”(1)

A 38 year old woman who was arrested for removing a signboard from a
government office last March suffered severe beatings in detention and
was covered with bruises when she was released. She was refused medical
attention and died one month later as a result of the injuries sustained
while in detention.

One reason for the lack of information and clarity on the Tibetan
detainees still unaccounted for by the Chinese government is the ongoing
refusal by the Chinese government to allow journalists and human rights
monitoring agencies into large areas of Tibet. The Chinese government
has also created a climate of extreme fear in Tibet in an attempt to
deter Tibetans from contacting NGOs or journalists outside Tibet with
information. One Tibetan healthworker, Wangdu, who did try and pass on
information to contacts outside Tibet was recently charged with
“espionage” and sentenced to life imprisonment. Many other “show trials”
have passed sentences of disproportionate severity as the Chinese
government attempts to send out a chilling message that Tibetans who
pass information to the outside world will face severe consequences.

Free Tibet protests this weekend (for a full schedule of protests see
note 3 below) will therefore hold Premier Wen Jiabao to account for the
ongoing refusal of the Chinese government to supply information on the
whereabouts of more than one thousand Tibetans. Free Tibet is also
demanding that the Chinese government MUST:

Allow an independent inquiry into the events of March and April 2008

Provide a full list of names and locations of all Tibetans still in
detention after last year’s protests.

Allow immediate and unrestricted access to journalists and human rights
monitoring agencies to all parts of Tibet including the Tibetan
Autonomous Prefectures.

Ends
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T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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