11 TIBETAN PROTESTERS ARRESTED DEMONSTRATING CHINESE PRESIDENT’S ARRIVAL; CALLING FOR FREEDOM AND AN END TO HU JINTAO’S FAILED POLICIES IN TIBET
New Delhi – This afternoon around 3 p.m. 11 Tibetan activists were arrested for protesting Hu Jintao’s arrival. Three, one boy and two girls, were arrested right in front of the Oberoi Hotel, where Chinese President Hu Jintao is staying during the BRICS Summit in India. A further eight girls were arrested 100 meters away from the hotel. The action is the second in a series of pro-Tibet demonstrations targeting Hu Jintao’s failed policies in Tibet that have resulted in an unprecedented wave of self-immolations. On Monday, Jamphel Yeshi, an exiled Tibetan living in New Delhi lit himself on fire to protest Hu Jintao’s visit to India as China’s violent crackdown in Tibet continues. Hundreds of Tibetans were arrested and Tibetan refugee settlements cordoned off by police following his self-immolation.
“Hu Jintao is the architect of the current human rights crisis in Tibet and it is our duty and our responsibility to hold him accountable on the international stage,” said Dorjee Tseten, Director of Students for a Free Tibet India. “Until China resolves the Tibet issue and Tibetans can live in peace and freedom, Hu Jintao and all Chinese leaders will be met with vocal protests and global outrage.”
There have been over 30 self-immolation in Tibet, 17 since January 2012, all by Tibetans calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. The same calls for freedom were also heard during a recent wave of large-scale peaceful protests in Tibet. Chinese security forces responded to this resistance by opening fire on crowds and then arresting and disappearing people suspected of being involved in the protest. Four Tibetans living in exile have also carried out acts of self-immolation.
“Yesterday’s actions by Jamphel Yeshi highlight the urgent need for for a swift resolution to the Tibet issue,” said Lobsang Phendey, an activist of Students for a Free Tibet-India “I urge the BRICS leaders and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to publicly and vigourously pressure Hu Jintao to end the violent and brutal repression in Tibet. The overwhelming message from Tibetans – inside Tibet and in exile – is clear, we want change now, we want freedom now.”
A lobby effort was initiated this month by Students for a Free Tibet-India to highlight the current crisis in Tibet and to call for diplomatic intervention for Tibet by Indian Parliamentarians. Standing committee members of the External Affairs Department and Members of Parliament in India were lobbied as part of an global campaign for multilateral action to stop China’s crackdown in Tibet.