Tashi Wangchuk

tashi wangchuk new york times

Age: Early 30’s on detention
Summary: Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan businessman, was detained following an interview with the New York Times on Tibetan culture and language. Tashi was tortured and held without trial for two years.
Charge: “inciting separatism”
Sentence: Five Years
Prison: Yushu Detention Center
Status: RELEASED on 28 January 2021.


©Amnesty Australia


Tashi Wangchuk, an innocent Tibetan shopkeeper and language advocate, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by Chinese authorities on false charges of ‘inciting separatism’.

HIS CRIME? Publicly seeking his right to Tibetan language education.

In November 2015, Tashi was interviewed by the New York Times about his mission as an advocate for Tibetan language rights. His concern was stemmed after classes in his local area were closed down, prompting fears that future generations of Tibetans would grow up unable to speak their mother tongue.

The interview resulted in the short film, “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice”, which covers Tashi’s attempts to file a lawsuit against local officials over the lack of Tibetan language education in schools.

On 4 January 2018, after two years in detention, Tashi Wangchuk finally stood trial. The four-hour hearing concluded without a verdict or a sentence, which finally came on 22 May 2018.