Young Tibetan businessman and language rights advocate sentenced to five years in prison for “inciting separatism”.
Tashi Wangchuk, is an advocate for greater Tibetan language education in schools in Tibet where mandarin has become the sole language of instruction, has been detained and charged with “inciting separatism”, with no access to family and lawyer. He was tried on 4 January 2018 and on 22 May 2018 the court pronounced a sentence of 5 years in prison. He is at risk of torture and other ill- treatment.
He has expressed his anxieties on social media about Tibetan children being unable to speak their native language fluently, and the gradual extinction of Tibetan culture. In 2015 the New York Times, in “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice”, reported his attempts to file a lawsuit against local officials over the lack of Tibetan language education in schools, but no law firm would help him.
Though critical of the threats to Tibetan language and culture, Tashi has never written about Tibetan independence. His language campaign is in line China’s constitution: “[e]thnic minorities’ right to learn, use and develop their own spoken and written languages is guaranteed in accordance with the law” (Article 4). Amidst China’s current crackdown, Tashi Wangchuk’s case is an example of how Tibetans face additional persecution for any activity perceived as a threat, through charges of “separatism”.
Tashi Wangchuk | བཀྲ་ཤིས་དབང་ཕྱུག་
℅ Yushu Public Security Bureau,
Yushu Shi, Yushu Zangzuzizhizhou,
Qinghai Sheng, China, 815000
People’s Republic of China
Tashi Wangchuk | བཀྲ་ཤིས་དབང་ཕྱུག་ | 扎西旺珠(音)
Language: English, Tibetan or in your own language
Salutation: Dear Tashi Wangchuk la
Dear Tashi Wangchuk la
I’m writing to you from [ADD YOUR COUNTRY]. Please know that I and many others around the world are thinking of you and hope very much for your release.
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