Severe human rights restrictions in Tibet spark high level concern from United Nations rights experts.

China to account for mass eviction of Tibetan monks and nuns from highly respected Buddhist institute Larung Gar

26 February 2017: A group of six independent United Nations human rights experts [1] have expressed their “deep concern” about the serious cultural and religious repression in Tibet directly to the People’s Republic of China. [2] The experts cited a wide range of specific allegations in their letter concerning the mass eviction of Tibetan monks and nuns and the demolition of their homes, which have been taking place at the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in eastern Tibet. [3] These actions by the Chinese government are seen by the group of UN experts to violate international human rights laws and “seem to be concerted attacks on tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which constitute serious violations of cultural rights of current and future generations.”

The detailed communication was issued privately to the People’s Republic of China in November 2016 after news emerged of the dramatic level of destruction being carried out by the Chinese authorities at Larung Gar where, since June 2016, at least 6,700 monks and nuns have been evicted from their homes, and recent reports suggest that further demolitions of monastic homes are restarting shortly. [4]

The situation at Larung Gar is indicative of a far wider pattern of interference by the Chinese government in Tibet’s religious affairs that is in direct contravention of the Chinese Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which guarantee freedom of religious belief, with no discrimination or compulsion. Tibet campaigners and analysts see these incidents as emblematic of an escalation in state-perpetrated religious and cultural rights violations in Tibet, which requires international attention.

“Tibetans are suffering greatly due to China’s harsh and erroneous policies,” said Iona Liddell of Tibet Justice Center and joint coordinator of the Tibet Advocacy Coalition. [5] She added “The concern shown by these independent UN experts highlights just how serious the situation is at Larung Gar and Tibet at large, and that this is a problem warranting global attention.”

“We welcome this strong intervention and call on governments around the world to take action on these key human rights experts’ concerns and urge they raise this situation as a matter of urgency with China, before more inhumane damage is done” added Urgyen Badheytsang, Students for a Free Tibet.

“This statement brings into sharp focus the sheer scale and range of China’s devastation at Larung Gar,”  commented Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren of Free Tibet. “Six UN experts, each a specialist in their field, have identified a vast array of human rights violations that cannot be downplayed or ignored. It is now up to governments to act on these findings. They must demand that China bring this destruction to an immediate halt”

“With today’s geopolitical scenario, joint and strategic multilateral action at the UN is one of the most effective ways to bring China to account. We urge that governments raise concern about Larung Gar and other state-perpetrated violations of cultural and religious rights in Tibet as a matter of urgency with China,” said Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network.

The UN experts also questioned the Chinese government about the use of excessive force against, and the arbitrary arrest and detention of, Tibetan protesters who peacefully demonstrated in June 2016 against an open-air mining project in Amchok, in Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province (in the Tibetan area of Amdo). Armed Chinese police beat and detained a number of Tibetan demonstrators; six protest leaders were severely beaten and subsequently hospitalized. [6]

Iona Liddell, Tibet Justice Center: +977 9810 173 996 (English)
Urgyen Badhetysang, Students for a Free Tibet: +1 4133 108 160 (English and Tibetan)
Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network: +91 9882 255 516 (English and Tibetan)
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, Free Tibet: +44 7341 335995 (English)


1. The UN Experts who issued the Communication are: Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; John H. Knox, Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment; Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Leilani Farha, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context; Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, Special Rapporteur on minority issues; Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

2. Full Communication can be read at

3. Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Tibet; one of the largest and most respected Buddhist institutions in the world, and until recently home to at least 10,000 monks, nuns and visiting students.

4. Radio Free Asia report, 23 January 2017

5. Tibet Advocacy Coalition is a project established in 2013 by International Tibet Network, Tibet Justice Center and Students for a Free Tibet to develop coordinated strategies, monitoring tools, and reports to highlight the situation in Tibet at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Coalition’s core members are: Tibet Justice Center (, Students for a Free Tibet (, Tibetan Youth Association Europe  ( who work together with support and advice from International Tibet Network (, a coalition of over 180 global Tibet organisations, campaigning for an end to human rights violations in Tibet. See

6. Report by International Campaign for Tibet, 8 June 2016: ‘Tibetan protest leaders hospitalized as Chinese police suppress demonstrations in Amchok’ –


Western Europe

Aide aux Refugies Tibetains

Association Dorje

Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet

Associazione Italia -Tibet

Autodetermination – Tibet 09/31

Briancon05 Urgence Tibet

Caisse d’Aide aux Prisonniers Tibetains

Casa del Tibet – Spain

Comite de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)

Comite de Soutien au Peuple Tibetain (Les Lilas)

Corse – Tibet

Eco-Tibet France

EcoTibet Ireland

France Tibet

Free Tibet

Groupe Non-Violent Louis Lecoin, France

Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal

International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter

Jamtse Thundel Association

La Porte du Tibet, Geneva

Les Amis du Tibet – Belgium

Les Amis du Tibet Luxembourg

Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc, France

Lungta Association Belgium

Maison des Himalayas

Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info

Nos Amis de l’Himalaya

Objectif Tibet

Passeport Tibetain

Phagma Drolma-Arya Tara

Reseau International des Femmes pour le Tibet

Save Tibet, Austria

Society for Threatened Peoples International

Students for a Free Tibet France

Students for a Free Tibet UK

Tashi Delek Bordeaux

Tibet 59 / 62

Tibet Initiative Deutschland

Tibets Kinder im Exile V.

Tibet Liberte Solidarite

Tibet Libertes, France

Tibet Society, U.K.

Tibet Support Group – Ireland

Tibet Support Group – Netherlands

Tibet Unterstutzung Liechtenstein

Tibetan Association of Germany

Tibetan Community Austria

Tibetan Community in Belgium

Tibetan Community in Britain

Tibetan Community in France

Tibetan Community in Italy

Tibetan Community in Ireland

Tibetan Community in Netherlands

Tibetan Community in Spain

Tibetan Community in Switzerland & Liechtenstein

Tibetan Women’s Organisation in Switzerland

Tibetan Youth Association in Europe

Tsowa-Maintenir la Vie, France

Tibetan Community of Italy

Northern Europe

Friends of Tibet in Finland

Swedish Tibet Committee

Students for a Free Tibet Denmark

The Norwegian Tibet Committee

Tibet Support Committee Denmark

Tibetan Community in Denmark

Tibetan Community in Sweden

Tibetan Community in Norway

Central & Eastern Europe

Czechs Support Tibet

Fair Society o.s.

Friends of Tibet Bulgaria

Friends of Tibet Society St. Petersburg, Russia

International Youth Human Rights Group

Save Tibet Foundation

Society for Croatia-Tibet Friendship

Students for a Free Tibet Poland

The Foundation for Civil Society, Russia

Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech)

Tibet House Moscow

Tibet Support Association – Hungary

Tibet Support Group – Krasnodar Region, Russia

Tibet Support Group – Romania

Tibet Support Group – Sochi Region, Russia

Tibetan Community in Poland

Tibetan Programme of The Other Space Foundation

TSG – Slovenia

Union Latvija Tibetai (Latvia for Tibet )

Zida Cels, Latvia

Africa and Middle East

Action for Tibet – South Africa

Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People

Tibet Support Group Kenya

Tibet Society of South Africa

North America

Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina

Bay Area Friends of Tibet

Boston Tibet Network

Canada Tibet Committee

Capital Area Tibetan Association

Committee of 100 for Tibet

Dhokam Chushi Gangdruk

International Tibet Independence Movement

Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association

Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet

Sierra Friends of Tibet

Students for a Free Tibet

Students for a Free Tibet Canada

The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago

Tibet Action

Tibet Committee of Fairbanks

Tibet Justice Center

Tibetan Community of Boston

Tibetan Association of Ithaca

Tibetan Association of Northern California

Tibetan Association of Philadelphia

Tibetan Association of Santa Fe

Tibetan Association of Southern California

Tibetan Cultural Association – Quebec


Tibet Oral History Project

Toronto Tibet Youth Congress

United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)

U.S. Tibet Committee

Western Colorado Friends of Tibet

Wisconsin Tibetan Association

Central and South America

Amigos del Tibet, Chile

Amigos del Tibet, El Salvador

Asociación Cultural Peruano Tibetana

Asociación Cultural Tibetano – Costarricense

Casa Tibet Mexico

Centro De Cultura Tibetana – Brazil

Centro Cultural Colombo Tibetano

Grupo Pro-Cultura Tibetana, Chile

Le Club Francais – Paraguay

Rangzen: Movimento Free Tibete Natal

Tibet Mx – Mexico

Tibet Group-Panama

Tíbet Patria Libre, Uruguay

Fundación Pro Tibet – Argentina

Friends of Tibet in Costa Rica

World League for Freedom and Democracy


Anterrashtriya Bharat – Tibbet Sahyog Samiti

Bharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, India

Circle of Friends, Philippines

Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India

Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH the Dalai Lama


Himalayan Committee for Action on Tibet

India Tibet Friendship Society

Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)

Japan Committee of 100 for Tibet

Lung-Ta Project

Mahatma Gandhi Tibet Freedom Movement

National Campaign for Tibetan Support, India

National Democratic Party of Tibet

Ns3 Rigpa Community Builder’s Foundation

Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia

Students for a Free Tibet Japan

Students for a Free Tibet India

Taiwan Friends of Tibet

Tibbat Desh Patrika

Tibet Lives, India

Tibet Philippines Support Network

Tibet Solidarity Forum, Bangladesh

Tibet Support Group Kiku, Japan

Tibet Support Network Japan

Tibetan Student Association, Madras

Tibetan Rights and Freedom Committee

Tibetan Women’s Association (Central)

Tibetan Youth Congress

World Tibet Day Foundation

Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan


Australia Tibet Council

Friends of Tibet New Zealand

Students for a Free Tibet New Zealand

Tibet Action Group of Western Australia

Tibet Support Group Adelaide

Tibetan Community of Australia (Victoria)

Tibetan Women’s Association and Friends Australia

Sakya Trinley Ling

Australian Tibet House