China: Respect the Human Rights of the Kirti Monks

On the afternoon of March 16th, Phuntsok, a monk from Kirti monastery in Tibet, walked to the top of the market street near his monastery and set himself on fire. Police beat Phuntsok as they put out the flames.

Since Phuntsok's death, the Kirti monks have been prohibited from performing normal religious services, they are being forced to attend reeducation sessions every day from morning until night, the monastery has been sealed off, and there is a fear that 2,500 monks will starve without access to food.

Phuntsok is not the first Kirti monk to take his own life in the face of harsh cultural and religious oppression. Two years ago another monk, Tapey, was shot down after setting fire to himself in response to being prohibited from observing Monlam, a traditional prayer festival held after Tibetan New Year. Both he and his mother are still missing.

Tibetans are entitled to the same human rights as any other people; the freedoms of expression, cultural identity, religion, and all the other rights enumerated in the world's human rights treaties and conventions.

Ask Chinese authorities to respect the human rights of the Kirti monks:

*Release Tapey and his family
*Allow food to be delivered
*Allow free movement to the monks
*Respect religious studies in accordance with the Chinese constitution
On the afternoon of March 16th, Phuntsok, a monk from Kirti monastery in Tibet, walked to the top of the market street near his monastery and set himself on fire.

Since Phuntsok's death, the Kirti monks have been prohibited from performing normal religious services, they are being forced to attend reeducation sessions every day from morning until night, the monastery has been sealed off, and there is a fear that 2,500 monks will starve without access to food.

Two years ago another monk, Tapey, was shot down after setting fire to himself in response to being prohibited from observing Monlam, a traditional prayer festival held after Tibetan New Year. Both he and his mother are still missing.

Tibetans are entitled to the same human rights as any other people; the freedoms of expression, cultural identity, religion, and all the other rights enumerated in the world's human rights treaties and conventions.

I ask you to respect the human rights of the Kirti monks:

*Release Tapey and his family
*Allow food to be delivered
*Allow free movement to the monks
*Respect religious studies in accordance with the Chinese constitution
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