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September 23, 2017

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Nobel winners, activists to China: Stop abusing Dalai Lama

UNITED NATIONS -- Nobel Peace Prize winners, human rights activists and such celebrities as Harrison Ford and Gwyneth Paltrow are urging China to "stop naming, blaming and verbally abusing" the Dalai Lama.

The Nobel laureates, activists and Hollywood stars have signed a letter from Archbishop Desmond Tutu expressing concern at the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet, and the apparent breakdown of talks between the Chinese government and emissaries of the Dalai Lama.

The letter, published on The Community.com, an Internet site for Nobel peace laureates that promotes peace and human rights, was opened to the public for signature on Friday.

Mary Wald, chairman of the site, said when 100,000 people sign the letter it will be hand delivered to Chinese President Hu Jintao and others.

"This is the time for a massive outpouring of support for the Dalai Lama," Wald said. "He is making some of the strongest statements he has ever made, because the situation for the Tibetans it that critical."

Nobel peace laureates Elie Wiesel, John Hume, David Trimble, Jody Williams, F.W. de Klerk, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Adolfo Perez Esquivel signed the letter along with about 40 celebrities and rights activists including Ford, Paltrow, Peter Gabriel, Richard Gere, Mia Farrow, Maria Bello, Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, Ashley Judd, supermodels Christy Turlington and Naomi Campell and Queen Noor of Jordan.

Earlier this week, the Dalai Lama condemned China's "brutal crackdown" and its harsh rule over the decades, which has turned Tibet into a "hell on earth."

Tensions have spiked ahead of two key anniversaries this week _ the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising that sent the Dalai Lama into exile and Saturday's one-year anniversary of violent anti-Chinese riots in Lhasa that sparked Tibet's most widespread, sustained revolt in decades.

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