New report sheds light on Tibetan uprising of 1987 and the founding of Free Tibet

Tibetan monk Jampa Tenzin and protesters in Tibet capital Lhasa, 1987 (credit: John Ackerly)
Tibetan monk Jampa Tenzin and protesters in Tibet capital Lhasa, 1987 (credit: John Ackerly)

28th September 2017

Report by Tibet Watch contains new photographs from protests in Tibet in the late-1980s and first hand accounts of the resistance 

Free Tibet's research partner, Tibet Watch, has released its latest report, which marks 30 years since the 1987 uprising by Tibetans  against Chinese rule. The ensuing events, captured in the report through photos and testimonies, are among the most significant in Tibet's recent history, and also led to the creation of Free Tibet.

The report, '30 Years of Resistance: The Legacy of the 1987 Lhasa Protests', documents Beijing’s policy towards Tibet since the beginning of the occupation of Tibet by China in 1949 as well as the series of protests which occurred in Tibet from September 1987 to March 1989.

The 1987 uprising

The report also reveals exclusive photographs from the protests, which provide a powerful illustrated testimony from the Tibetans who were beaten and killed during the uprising. 

The photos were obtained from a relative of one of Tibet Watch’s researchers who had worked for the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) Department of Security. 
Tibet Watch was assisted by the CTA’s Department of Security and Gu Chu Sum Movement Association of Tibet in its research. The report offers eye-witness testimonies and place individual experiences of the protesters in the photographs into a wider narrative.

The report also emphasises the international media coverage of the protests and depicts how Free Tibet, first known as Tibet Support Group UK, was founded in response to the crackdown.

The report is available in full on Tibert Watch's website here.

Take action

30 years on, Tibetans continue to resist the occupation and China's human rights abuses. By doing so, they risk arrest, prison and even torture. Take action to support Tibet's political prisoners.