Write to Tashi Wangchuk

Tashi Wangchuk

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,
Minzhu Rd,
Yushu Shi, Yushu Zangzuzizhizhou,
Qinghai Sheng, China, 815000
People’s Republic of China

In Chinese:
Tashi Wangchuk | བཀྲ་ཤིས་དབང་ཕྱུག་ | 扎西旺珠(音)

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Salutation: Dear Tashi Wangchuk la

Sample Message:

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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IMPORTANT NOTE: Avoid talking about politics, and definitely do not write about Tibetan freedom or independence. It is highly probable that your letter will be read by the authorities before it reaches the prisoner. Please use common sense when composing your text and don’t say anything that could put her/him at risk.