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Dorjee Tseten, Executive Director, Students for a Free Tibet
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Urgyen Badheytsang, Campaigns Director, Students for a Free Tibet
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Students for a Free Tibet Launches International Campaign to Promote Human Rights: “Exercise Your Right #BannedByChina”
December 10, 2017: On this year’s Human Rights Day, while the United Nations (UN) is kicked off its campaign to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Tibetans and supporters around the world observed the day by protesting outside the UN and Chinese Embassies and Consulates across the world.
In New York, Tibetan communities from North America organized one of the largest rallies of the year, beginning at the UN General Assembly building and marching to the Chinese Consulate, to call on the UN and the international community to stand up for human rights in Tibet.
In the week leading up to Human Rights Day, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) launched the “Exercise Your Right #BannedByChina” campaign to highlight the grievous human rights situation in Tibet and our unified stance for Tibet against China’s oppression. SFT also published ‘China’s Naughty List,’ a list of celebrities and influential people around the world that were banned from China in response to their advocacy or public association with Tibet and/or the Dalai Lama.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was introduced to protect human rights and promote peace as mentioned in the first article of UDHR: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ However, in reality, under China’s occupation of Tibet, Tibetans in Tibet are treated as second class citizens in their own land and denied their basic rights, such as freedom or religion, speech, movement, and security,” said Dorjee Tseten, SFT’s Executive Director. He added, “Under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s oppressive rule in occupied Tibet, the human rights situation in Tibet has gone from bad to worse. On this day, we call on the UN and world governments to break their silence and champion the rights of the oppressed.”
On November 26, 2017, 63-year-old Tibetan monk, Tenga, from Kardze, Eastern Tibet, set his body on fire in protest against China’s oppressive rule in Tibet. Since 2009 there have been 151 known self-immolations in Tibet, a vast majority of whom have called for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama.
Urgyen Badheytsang, SFT’s Campaigns Director said, “Today, Tibetans are persecuted in Tibet for so much as practicing their own religion or calling for language preservation. The reality in Tibet is a harsh sight, a glimpse into the darkest regions of our world, because after all, Tibet is the second least free region in the world, only second to Syria.”
Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. They are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world. Through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, they campaign for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom.