European Parliament condemns the demolition of the Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy and the imprisonment of scholar Ilham Tohti by Chinese authorities

EP (15.12.2016) – The Chinese authorities should suspend the demolition of Larum Gar, stop the eviction of its residents and respect the freedom of expression, culture and religious belief of Tibetans, say MEPs. The demolition of monastic homes began on 20 July 2016 and it is estimated that as many as 1,000 monks and nuns have been evicted so far, with at least three nuns having committing suicide in protest.

Parliament draws attention to the “increasingly repressive regime” faced by minorities, in particular Tibetans and Uighurs, and is deeply concerned by the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet. MEPs call upon the Chinese government to resume constructive talks with Tibetan representatives, which were ended by China in 2010, in order to come to a peaceful solution.

Further, MEPs call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ilham Tohti, an economics scholar convicted of alleged separatism-related offences, and one of the four 2016 Sakharov prize nominees. They strongly condemn his life sentence, which was handed down without respect to due process of law, and further urge the Chinese authorities to allow him monthly visits from family members and to restore his teaching permit.

Full text of the resolution is available at

The Parliament

  1. Urges the Chinese authorities to stop the demolition of Larung Gar and the eviction of its residents, and in this way to respect the freedom of religion in accordance with its international commitments in the field of human rights; 
  1. Calls on the Chinese authorities to initiate a dialogue and to engage constructively on developments in Larung Gar with the local community and its religious leaders, and to address concerns regarding overcrowded religious institutes by allowing Tibetans to establish more institutes and build more facilities; calls for adequate compensation and the re-housing of Tibetans who have been evicted during the demolitions in Larung Gar at the place of their choice to continue their religious activities; 
  2. Deplores the sentencing of ten Tibetans by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham to different terms ranging from 5 to 14 years in prison for taking part in an 80th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lana in Ngaba County; 
  3. Is deeply concerned by the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet which has led to an increase in the number of self-immolation cases; criticises the increase in military displays on the Tibetan plateau that will only lead to escalating tension in the region; condemns the increase in the use of surveillance systems in Tibetan private households; 
  4. Is worried about the increasingly repressive regime faced by different minorities, in particular Tibetans and Uighurs, as additional constraints are put on the constitutional guarantees of their right to freedom of cultural expression and religious belief, and to the freedom of speech and expression, peaceful assembly and association, calling into question China’s stated commitment to the rule of law and respect for international obligations; demands that the authorities respect these fundamental freedoms; 
  5. Is worried about the adoption of the package of security laws and its impact on minorities in China, particularly the law on counter-terrorism that could lead to the penalisation of peaceful expression of Tibetan culture and religion and the law on the management of international NGOs which will come into effect on 1 January 2017 and will place human rights groups under the strict control of the government, as this constitutes a strictly topdown approach instead of encouraging partnership between local and central government and civil society;
  6. Urges the Chinese Government to amend the provisions in the security law package that narrow the space for civil society organisations and tighten government control over religious practices; calls on the Chinese Government to provide and guarantee a fair and safe environment for all NGOs and human rights defenders to operate freely in the country, which could greatly complement the state delivery of social services with a bottom-up approach and contribute to the advancement of social and economic, political and civil rights; 
  7. Calls on the Chinese Government to resume the dialogue with Tibetan representatives, which was ended by China in 2010, in order to find an inclusive political solution to the crisis in Tibet; calls for respect for the freedoms of expression, association and religion of the Tibetan people as enshrined in the Constitution; believes that respect for minority rights is a key element of democracy and the rule of law that is indispensable for political stability; 
  8. Strongly condemns the imprisonment of Ilham Tohti who is serving a life sentence on alleged charges of separatism; deplores the fact that the due process of law was not respected and that he did not benefit from the right to a proper defence; urges the Chinese authorities to respect the norm of granting one visit per month for family members; 
  9. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Ilham Tohti and of his supporters detained in relation to his case; further calls for Ilham Tohti’s teaching permit to be restored and for his free movement to be guaranteed within and outside China; 
  1. Recalls the importance of the EU raising the issue of human rights violations in China, in particular the case of minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, at every political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities, in line with the EU’s commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country, including the yearly Human Rights Dialogues; further points out that, as part of its ongoing reform process and increasing global engagement, China has opted into the international human rights framework by signing up to a wide range of international human rights treaties, and therefore calls for dialogue to be pursued with China to live up to these commitments; 
  2. Deplores the fact that the 35th round of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue will probably not take place before the end of 2016, as agreed; urges the Chinese Government to agree to a high-level dialogue in the first weeks of 2017;
  3. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and the Parliament of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

List of Tibetan Buddhists sentenced to 5-14 prison terms for taking part in an 80th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lana in Ngaba County

HRWF (19.12.2016) – On 6 December 2016, the Barkham County People’s Intermediate Court sentenced around ten Tibetans including monks to varying prison terms in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures.

  1. Drukda, 50, has been sentenced to 14 years and his whereabouts still unknown since his arrest from the monastery in November last year. According to sources, he was arrested for organizing a celebration of the exile leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday,” said Kanyag. He also stated that the monk from Ngaba was also a former political prisoner earlier imprisoned in 2008 for over a year.
  2. Lobsang Khedup, 44, has been arrested for his involvement in setting up a prayer ceremony on His Holiness on his 80th Birthday. “He was also a former political prisoner have served a three year sentence in 2011. During his time, he was subjected to extreme torture and upon his release he was in poor condition. His family had to incur a lot to nurse him back to health,” said Lobsang Yeshi, another monk of Kirti Monastery based here.
  3. Lobsang Gephel (29) has been sentenced to twelve years and his whereabouts also remain unknown. He had been arrested in 2011 and released in 2013.
  4. Lodro (41) has been sentenced to nine years and his whereabouts remain unknown. He had been arrested in 2011 and released in 2013.
  5. Bonko Kyi (41) a Tibetan woman, arrested in November last year has been sentenced to seven years in prison for her involvement in arranging the grand 80th birthday celebration of the Dalai Lama. She was arrested in 2011 and 2012 and was imprisoned for few months before her family managed to get her released. Since then she has been under surveillance.
  6. Akyakya (35) who was earlier arrested in 2011 for links to a self-immolation has been sentenced to five years.
  7. Tsultrim has been sentenced to six years.
  8. Tarey has been sentenced to eight years.
  9. Tsendra has been sentenced to eight years.
  10. Tsultrim has received six years’ imprisonment.

For further information, please contact Ms Zsuzsa-Anna Ferenczy. Email:


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