Chinese Embassies and Consulates Targeted with Nonviolent Direct Action
New York – The Chinese government is the target of direct action in 19 major cities around the world today. Calling attention to the recent execution of Lobsang Dhondup, a Tibetan political activist, by Chinese authorities two months ago, 4 activists in New York staged a mock execution in the entranceway of the Chinese consulate and were arrested. In San Francisco, 3 activists, including 1 Tibetan, were arrested after chaining themselves to two lion statues in front of the Chinese consulate. In Houston, Texas, a banner reading “China Failed. Tibet lives,” is currently hanging from construction scaffolding on the Chinese Consulate. Elsewhere around the world, Tibetans and supporters are holding demonstrations and knocking on the doors of Chinese government offices to hand over petitions and letters of protest.
Lobsang Dhondup, a 28 year-old Tibetan man from Eastern Tibet, and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a senior Tibetan Buddhist teacher from the same region, were sentenced to death by China on December 2, 2002 for alleged involvement in a series of explosions. Despite intense international outcry, Lobsang Dhondup was executed on January 26th, becoming the first Tibetan executed for a political crime in twenty years. At least nine other men remain missing or in detention in connection with this case and reports indicate that they have been tortured.
“We will not let China get away with murdering our people,” said Topden Tsering of the Tibetan Youth Congress. “The execution of Lobsang Dhondup and the death sentence of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche are a further assault on the rights of the Tibetan people, and we will fight back. By taking action this day around the world, we are putting the Chinese leadership on notice that their occupation of Tibet will not last.”
In a letter to Chinese president Hu Jintao that was hand delivered to Chinese embassies and consulates today, Students for a Free Tibet and the San Francisco Tibetan Youth Congress stated that the death sentences and execution of Lobsang Dhondup “strengthened the resolve of Tibetans and Tibet supporters worldwide to fight for a free Tibet.”
“China is using the War on Terror, and now the war in Iraq, as a cover to escalate its repression in Tibet,” said John Hocevar, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet and part of the group in New York that occupied the Chinese consulate after staging a mock execution in the entranceway. “Now more than ever, we must support people who use nonviolent means to fight for justice and freedom.”Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. A chapter-based network of more than 650 schools worldwide, SFT campaigns for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action.
For more photos and details of actions in participating cities please visit
Lhadon Tethong, office (212) 358.0071, mobile (917) 418.4181
Thupten Tsering, mobile (347) 538-5362
Students for a Free Tibet
March 26, 2003