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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

China's Intensifying Crackdown in Tibet

Police detain Tibetan women Protestors during a protest rally

Dear fellow bloggers and people worldwide who care about people of color and marginalized victims of police brutality worldwide,

I have been asked to circulate this letter and I am writing to draw your attention to the Chinese government's intensifying crackdown in Tibet. As you know, last March Tibetans across Tibet risked everything to speak out for their human rights and freedom. Chinese authorities responded with brutal force - locking Tibet off from the outside world, instituting hard-line polices designed to crush any sign of Tibetan resistance, and heavily militarizing even the most remote towns and villages.

Almost a year later, thousands of Tibetans are in prison or missing and Tibet remains under military lockdown. Chinese forces are now intensifying their crackdown in the lead up to March 10th - marking one year since protests broke out across Tibet and 50 years since the 1959 Tibetan Uprising when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet into exile.

Just weeks ago, authorities in the Tibetan capital Lhasa launched a "Strike Hard" campaign; raiding homes and businesses, questioning 5,766 people and making at least 81 arrests on charges including possession of "reactionary songs." Recent peaceful protests in Chamdo prefecture in eastern Tibet were met with extreme force resulting in the death of a 24-year Tibetan youth.

On Monday, February 2nd, dozens of Tibetans were arrested for "spreading rumors." In reality, the Chinese authorities are trying to stop Tibetans from turning their traditional New Year's celebrations (beginning February 25th) into mourning rituals for the more than 200 Tibetans killed by Chinese forces in the past year. I am deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of those arrested.

Without international pressure the Chinese government's campaign of terror against the Tibetan people will only increase. Please show your support for Tibet at this critical time by publicly calling for China's leadership to end their provocative "Strike Hard" campaign.

I further ask that you to make a public statement of concern for Tibet on March 10.

I will continue to update you on this urgent matter.


Love for the people,


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