A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.


Venerable Golog Jigme testifies before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Golog Jigme

Former Tibetan political prisoner Golog Jigme testifies at the US Congressional Executive Commission on China in Washington on April 14, 2016. ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering sits besides him.

Speaking about the pervasive use of torture in China, Golog Jigme told the Commission his story during a hearing earlier this month:

I was never formally arrested. I was given two separate detention warrants, but only after I had been released. During my three detentions, I was never given any document setting forth formal charges against me. I was never given a trial. Neither my monastery nor my family was informed of my whereabouts; I was held incommunicado. I had no access to a lawyer. I never received any medical treatment.

Tulku Phurbu Tsering released from prison

Tulku Phurbu Tsering
Tulku Phurbu Tsering, shown in the center of the picture above, has been released following years in a Chinese prison. Tulku, who is the abbot of two nunneries, was arrested for refusing to denounce the Dalai Lama after the 2008 Tibetan Uprising. He was returned home secretly, likely to prevent celebrations from being arranged for his release, and his health status is currently unknown.

TCHRD hosts discussion on political prisoners in Tibet at ICT

ICT EventThe talk organized by the Tibetan Centre for Human Righs & Democracy, which took place on February 21 in our Washington DC office, featured ICT Advocacy Director Andrea Worden and Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch. John Gaudette of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy moderated the session. To watch a recording of the event, please click here.

U.S. State Department details rights abuses, raises concern on Tibet in 2015 Annual Human Rights Report

The State Department report notes “serious human rights abuses” in Tibet, including extrajudicial detentions, disappearances, and torture” and refers to the intensified militarization of the plateau, stating: “The presence of the People’s Armed Police (PAP) and other security forces remained at high levels in many communities on the Tibetan Plateau, particularly in the TAR. Repression was severe throughout the year but increased in the periods before and during politically and religiously sensitive anniversaries and events. Authorities detained individuals in Tibetan areas after they reportedly protested against government or business actions, or expressed their support for the Dalai Lama.”

John Kenneth Knaus, a friend of the Tibetan people, passes away at 92

Ken Knaus

John Kenneth Knaus with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

John Kenneth Knaus, a former CIA officer who was involved with its Tibetan program from late 1950s to early 1960s, passed away on April 18, 2016 surrounded by family.

In 1958, he first met Tibetans when he was asked by CIA to go to lecture to a group of “foreign nationals” on international communism and Chinese communism. That began his life-long interest in the Tibetan people.

He then volunteered to serve in the CIA program to support the Tibetans. For the next seven years, as an operations officer working from India, from Colorado, and from Washington, D.C., he cooperated with the Tibetan freedom fighters as they utilized American assistance to challenge Chinese invasion and occupation.