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Tibetan-American Detained in Beijing, Deported to United States

Date: Monday, 11-August-2008
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Students for a Free Tibet
August 08, 2008

Beijing, August 7 -- A 25-year-old Tibetan-American woman wasdetained in Beijing Airport yesterday at 9:35pm Beijing Standard Timeon Wednesday, August 6. Chime Dolkar, a Tibetan exile and currentresident of Minnesota, boarded a Northwest flight to Beijing withplans to speak out for Tibetan freedom and challenge the Chinesegovernment to live up to its Olympic promises. But she was detainedwhen she arrived at the airport, interrogated for 12 hours, andeventually deported to the United States. As she was being deported,Dolkar spoke out in support of Tibetan freedom, shouting, "Tibet will be free."

"I feel I must go to Beijing to be a voice for my people because atthe Chinese government has invited the world to the Olympics they areruthlessly crushing Tibetans in the harshest crackdown that we haveseen in decades," said Dolkar as she was leaving New York's John F.Kennedy airport Tuesday afternoon.

One of the very few Tibetans actually granted a China visa at thissensitive time, Dolkar wanted to use her freedom as an American topromote the freedom of her beleaguered countrymen in Tibet. Dolkar'svisa was revoked days before her departure, but she was determined totry to speak up about Tibet in China, and decided to go ahead withher trip as planned.

"The Chinese government has ruthlessly suppressed even the mildestform of peaceful dissent by Tibetans in Tibet and China in the run-upto the Games, and has barred Tibetan exiles like Chime Dolkar fromspeaking up in China for freedom and human rights in Tibet," saidTenzin Dorjee, deputy director of Students for a Free Tibet. "As theOlympics draw near and criticism of the Chinese leadership's brutalrule in Tibet grows, the efforts of the Chinese authorities to quashall critics is also intensifying."

Chinese authorities had detained and exiled another Tibetan woman andher two American-born babies on July 18. In this case, Kemo, whoholds a Chinese passport, was detained for four hours before beingexiled and told never to enter China. The reason for her exile wasthat she had joined pro-Tibet demonstrations in San Francisco andPortland and attended a public talk by the Dalai Lama in Seattle; theChinese officers brought internet print-outs showing Kemo at theseevents. Officers then forced her children away from her, kicking herand slapping her one-and-half-year-old son Khawa Tsering Kemo.

Born and raised in India, Chime Dolkar immigrated to the UnitedStates at age 12 and attended high school in Minnesota, where shebecame class president and Homecoming Queen. At St. Cloud University,she was the vice president of the local chapter of Students for aFree Tibet. She currently serves as the vice-president of theRegional Tibetan Youth Congress of Minnesota.

Tenzin Dorjee, Deputy Director, and Yangchen Lhamo, SFT Board Member:
+1 917-289-0228 (United States)
+44 2070-846-359 (United Kingdom)
+852-3050-9088 (Hong Kong)

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