I am outraged to learn that Runggye Adak, a 52-year old Tibetan nomad and father of 11, is serving an eight year sentence for doing nothing more than exercising his basic right to free speech. Adak was unjustly convicted of “provocation to subvert state power” by the People’s Court in Dartsedo in Eastern Tibet [Chinese: Kangding, Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province]. Runggye Adak is an innocent man and must be immediately released. I am also deeply concerned about Adak’s nephew, Lupoe, along with Kunkhen and Lothok who have also been given sentences ranging from 3 to 10 years in prison. By persecuting Runggye Adak for his peaceful act, you are violating his fundamental right to freely express his views without fear of punishment. According to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Runggye Adak’s ongoing detention is a blatant violation of his fundamental human rights and reveals the reality of your brutal occupation of Tibet. The world is scrutinizing your government’s handling of Runggye Adak’s case very closely. If the charges against him are not overturned, this incident will serve to further diminish China’s international standing. As long as Tibetans continue to be denied their basic human rights, China will never be truly accepted as a leader on the world stage. I will continue to monitor Runggye Adak’s case and will be updating my government about this travesty of justice. I urge you to release Runggye Adak, Lupoe, Kunkhen and Lothok now.
September 17, 2009