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China announces unprecedented harsh measures to deter self-immolations in Tibet’s Dzoege County

In April 2013, the local government in Dzoege (Ch: Ru-ergai) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (Sichuan Province) announced that it was taking every man, woman, and child hostage. In a document recently smuggled out of Dzoege County dated 8 April 2013, the government announced that if there was a self-immolation it would punish the immolator’s village, monastery, and family. Unlike previous policies that targeted people for “inciting” self-immolations or punished people for refusing to provide a government sanctioned explanation of the immolation, Dzoege government is punishing people explicitly because of what somebody else did. The …

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Obama could do more to make religious freedom a key objective of US foreign policy

On Thursday morning just before Max Baucus was confirmed by the US Senate to be the next US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), President Obama addressed the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Obama recognized the National Prayer Breakfast as an opportunity to set aside labels of party and ideology. He used the opportunity to discuss the importance of religious freedom abroad. Obama said that freedom of religion is necessary for peace and human dignity. Tibetans know the truth of those words all too well. In Tibet, Buddhism is strictly controlled by the Chinese government. After the destruction of …

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Repression escalates in Tibet’s Diru County: Tibetan youth beaten to death, 2 others given heavy sentences and another disappeared

A Tibetan youth has died in police custody soon after his arrest in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Konchok Dakpa, a youth from Chamram Village in Diru Township was held incommunicado for weeks since his arrest in December 2013. On 20 January 2014, his body was returned to his family who were given strict orders not to discuss the death with others. Sources with contacts in Diru said Konchok Dakpa was severely beaten and tortured during his secret detention, indicating that his death was the direct result of police torture. Local Tibetans …

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