Day of protest over China’s detention of Tibetan leader

The detention of one of Tibet’s most respected religious leaders has sparked a flurry of UK protest against the Chinese government.

The Free Tibet campaign is organising a day of protest against the arrest of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche and wants UK supporters to bombard the Chinese Embassy in London with telephone calls, faxes and emails on or around 10 March.

Earlier this month, Lob-sang Dhondup, a 28-year-old Tibetan farmer, was executed by the Chinese authorities, a move Free Tibet claims was the first politically motivated execution in a decade.

Both Rinpoche and Dhond-up were arrested in April 2002 following an explosion in central Chengdu and, according to Free Tibet campaigners, have been imprisoned in a secret location and tried without independent legal advice.

Anne Callaghan, a Free Tibet campaigns manager, said China has signed up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights but is not “following the rules”.

“We want to make it very clear to the Chinese authorities that people do care and that they are paying close attention to what is happening.”

Free Tibet hopes that the EU and the US will tackle the issue of Tibet and Rinpoche’s detention during the forthcoming Human Rights Convention in April, which China will attend.

“We are hoping that the international community will be brave enough to take on China.”

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