2018 - our year in review

25th December 2018

This year was a busy year for the Free Tibet team! Read all about it in our year in review.

2018 was a year of deep significance for Tibet. It marked the ten-year anniversary of the protests that spread across Tibet, in which vastly outnumbered but resolute Tibetans stood up to occupying soldiers and police across the country in a spontaneous and unprecedented show of defiance. This resistance – and the intense repression that followed - have dictated much of our work throughout the following decade, and needed to be honoured.

Tibetfest 2018

We gave it our best effort. This year we threw our second, and again highly successful, Tibetfest before embarking on a speaking tour across the UK. Our two Tibetan speakers captured the legacy of 2008 through stark testimonies and images from Tibet and inspiring poetry about the Tibetan people’s ongoing struggle for freedom.

2018 also saw us stand up to China at the United Nations, not once but twice. Beijing’s attempts to censor our human rights report at the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in August backfired spectacularly, while months of advocacy paid off at the UN Human Rights Council in November, when 12 countries raised human rights in Tibet directly with China.

During those months of lobbying we also found time to release our findings on the February fire at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, once again using satellite imagery to go over the heads of the Chinese authorities, who had tried to suppress information about the fire.

We also enjoyed victories in the UK. After a year of campaigning, Liverpool FC dropped its sponsorship deal with the exploitative company Tibet Water Resources Ltd. Successes such as this are a welcome reminder that our work really does make a difference.

As the year comes to a close we have just released our new animated film into the world, which we hope will bring Tibet to new audiences. We have also partnered with a young Tibetan activist in the US to launch a new campaign which hopes to add the Tibetan flag as an official emoji to phones everywhere.

Preparations are already under way for 2019, itself a symbolic year, marking the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising. However, we would like to take one last opportunity to look back on 2018, a year of successes for Free Tibet and the Tibet movement.

The work we do is only possible with your support, so however you helped us, whether you donated money, came to our events, took our actions or shared our posts, we would like to thank you. We would also, of course, like to wish you a happy new year.