Tell the EU: help halt the demolitions at Larung Gar

The European Union has replied to Free Tibet, informing us that the EU-China Dialogue has been delayed. Despite "intensive efforts" by the EU, they have not yet been able to arrange the dialogue with China. They added that the EU will continue to raise Larung Gar with China "through all other available means". No further action is required at this point.

China has continued with its plan to cut the number of residents at Larung Gar Buddhist Institute. The consequences have been devastating and intolerable.

4,600 residents have been forced to leave Larung Gar since 20 July 2016. Residents who have been removed from the site have been made to sign pledges promising not to return to live there. Others have been locked out of their own homes.

Monks and nuns who have been returned to their native regions from Larung Gar have been prevented from joining new monasteries and nunneries. Some have been subjected to humiliating patriotic re-education sessions, in which they are required to sing Chinese propaganda songs and denounce their own Tibetan culture and religion.

The sadness has been felt across Tibet, and inside Larung Gar, three nuns are reported to have taken their own lives in protest against the demolitions.

This damage is not just an assault on Larung Gar and its residents, but also on Tibetans’ fundamental rights, including the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of movement and freedom of expression and association.

But we can stop this.

In December the European Parliament issued a strong resolution, urging China to halt the demolitions and forced removals and respect Tibetans’ religious freedoms. Later this month, representatives from the EU will meet their Chinese counterparts for their biannual dialogue on human rights. This is the perfect opportunity for them to directly raise Larung Gar, and urge Beijing to halt the demolitions, removals and attacks on Tibetans’ freedom of religion.

This is also the perfect moment for the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to make a public statement, denouncing the demolitions and calling for an immediate halt.

Please write to High Representative Mogherini, calling for strong action from the EU on Larung Gar.

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