On 30 August, Free Tibet and the Tibetan Community in Britain organised a protest outside the Chinese Embassy in London to demand freedom for Rinchen Kyi.
The protest followed the news earlier that month of the arrest of Rinchen Kyi, a Tibetan teacher, on 1 August.
Tibet Watch, Free Tibet’s research partner, has established that Rinchen Kyi was arrested in Golog, eastern Tibet on charges of inciting separatism, a state security crime under Chinese law. Rinchen Kyi was subsequently taken to Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province, but details about her health and whereabouts have been kept secret by the police authorities. One month earlier, her school, one of the few remaining schools to teach in the Tibetan language, was forced to close.
Around 20 people gathered for the protest outside the embassy, where they vocally demanded that Rinchen Kyi be released. They attracted several gestures of support from passers-by and traffic.
Among those protesting were two of Free Tibet’s friends from Students for a Free Tibet in New York. Pema Doma, the Campaigns Manager for SFT, made an impassioned speech, describing what Rinchen Kyi’s arrest meant to her as a Tibetan, while John Jones, Free Tibet’s Campaigns Manager, told those present how they could take action and called on those inside the Chinese embassy to listen to the voices of the protesters.
Alongside the protest, Free Tibet is currently running an online action urging supporters to email the Qinghai local government and their nearest Chinese embassy to call for the immediate unconditional release of Rinchen. There is also an appeal in support of the demand.
The protest took place on the International Day of Disappeared, an annually commemorated day to raise awareness of prisoners whose whereabouts and conditions remain unknown – a common occurrence in occupied Tibet. Free Tibet marked the day last year by joining Tibetans, Uyghurs and other human rights activists outside the Chinese Embassy in London to demand the release of political prisoners in China.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch