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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

U.S. Congressmen urge Secretary Kerry to raise Tibetan political prisoners with Chinese authorities

April 4, 2016

Office of Tibet DC, March 31, 2016 -  Eleven members of the United States Congress have written a letter on 31 March to Mr John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, to raise the issue of Tibetan political prisoners with the Chinese government. They have particularly specified three Tibetan political prisoners namely Khenpo Karma Tsewang, Lobsang Kunchok and Thapke Gyatso.

“We write today to express our deep concern about three Tibetan political prisoners, while noting that there are hundreds of other documented Tibetan political prisoners currently being held in Chinese prisons similarly worthy of our concern and attention. We urge you and others at State Department, the U.S Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu to raise their cases with the Chinese government, make every effort to obtain information about their whereabouts and health status, press for necessary medical treatment, and prioritize their release,” the letter states.

Khenpo Karma Tsewang also known as Khenpo Kartse is a respected abbot known for his environmental activism, relief works and commitment to the preservation of Tibetan language. He was detained in 2013 and subsequently sentenced to two and half years in prison.

Lobsang Kunchok is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was sentenced to death with a two-year suspension for allegedly sending information related to self-immolation to Tibetans in exile.

Thabke Gyatso is a Buddhist monk and writer. He is serving a 15-year prison sentence for distributing Tibetan flags during the pan-Tibet uprising of 2008.

“The imprisonment of these individuals, who have so much to contribute to Tibetan society and who did nothing other than exercise their fundamental human rights is a grave tragedy and injustice. Again, we urge you to prioritize their cases in your discussions with Chinese officials and press for their immediate release,” they wrote.

The eleven members of the US Congress are Micheal E Capuano, Christopher H Smith, James P McGovern, James F Sensenbrenner Jr, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Donald S Beyer Jr, Yvette D Clarke, Mark Pocan, Dana Rohrabacher, Peter Welch and David Rouzer.

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