The International Campaign for Tibet mourns the passing of Lorne Craner, who served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the State Department during the George W. Bush presidency. The sad news was announced last week.

Former Tibetan political prisoner Ngawang Sangdrol greeting then Assistant Secretary Lorne Craner following her release from Tibet and arrival in the United States.

Craner was a dedicated champion of human rights throughout the world, including for the Tibetan people. It was during his time as assistant secretary that China released to the United States four Tibetan political prisoners, Ngawang Choephel (2002), Takna Jigme Sangpo (2002), Ngawang Sangdrol (2003), and Phuntsog Nyidron (released from prison in 2004, but arrived in US only in 2006). While Sangpo and Nyidron subsequented relocated to Switzerland, Choephel and Sangdrol are in the United States.

In addition to being the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Craner had also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs; and Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. He had also served as foreign policy advisor to Senator McCain, and foreign policy legislative assistant to Congressman Jim Kolbe.

ICT offer our deepest condolences to his family, wife, Anne, and his three children, Isabelle, Alex and Charlie.

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