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Thai CSOs organise Tibet torch protest to highlight China’s human rights abuses

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FORUM-ASIA would like to draw attention to an email from the Free Tibet Network regarding a protest rally being organised by Thai civil-society organisations to coincide with the Olympic torch relay in the Bangkok on April 19:

{mosimage}The Free Tibet Network and a coalition of Thai civil-society organisations are urging people to join a “No Torch in Tibet” march in Bangkok on April 19 in protest against the Chinese government’s refusal to stop the Olympic torch relay through Tibet in June, a land still awash in the blood spilled in China’s recent crackdown.

According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), since the beginning of March this year, at least 324 Tibetans were arrested and detained by Chinese authorities, however the TCHRD believes the actual number is around 2300. Most recently, reports have also been received of the torture of eight Tibetan monks in the custody of Chinese authorities. One of the monks, who was released after several days in detention, was covered in bruises from the severe beatings he had undergone.

These are blatant human rights abuses. The people’s blood has been spilled in Tibet, and yet the government of China still insists on bringing the Olympic torch to this land that they have violated. In response to this, the Free Tibet Network, the Thai Labour Campaign, the Social Critics Group – Chulalongkorn University, the Activists Society for Change, Young People for Democracy – Thailand and the Workers Democracy Group are organising the “No Torch in Tibet” protest march to coincide with the torch relay through the Thai capital on April 19.

The CSOs are deeply concerned by the statement made on April 9 by Tibet Autonomous Region chairman Qiangba Puncog on China’s response to any torch protests in the TAR: “We will without doubt deal with those persons severely. We will not be merciful.”

The Olympic torch carries the flame which represents the highest ideals of the Olympic spirit: friendship, peace and equality. Carrying this torch over Tibet will dishonour the people who have sacrificed their lives and their freedom so that their voices may be heard.

The people of Tibet have not been shown the spirit of friendship, peace and equality by the government of China. It is therefore the height of hypocrisy for the Chinese government to light this flame over the land of Tibet.
The CSOs urge those who wish to show their support for the people of Tibet to join the march.

For more information, contact Amy at the Free Tibet Network on +66 081 176 3110 or at [email protected] and visit the website