NEW DELHI, India, 23 March 1998
Richard Gere met Monday with six Tibetans on a hunger strike to demand a UN investigation of human rights violations in their country.
“The six human beings represent six million Tibetans,” the actor told reporters. “They have pledged to die and I sincerely believe that they are going to die.”
Gere, who has been advocating the cause of Tibetans for 15 years, criticized China’s human rights record and said Beijing needs to be pushed on the issue.
China invaded Tibet in 1949. Ten years later, the Dalai Lama and thousands of followers fled and established a government in exile in the northern Indian city of Dharamshala, after the Chinese crushed a Tibetan uprising.
The protesters, including a 70-year-old Tibetan, began their hunger strike on 10 March, the 39th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day.