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UN Rights Experts Raise Concern about Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Tibet

    Larung Gar

    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