Tibetan shopkeeper, Tashi Wangchuk, 31, was detained on January 27, 2016, after appearing in a New York Times video in which he advocated for the rights of Tibetans to learn and study in their mother tongue. In March, 2016, he was charged with “inciting separatism,” and faces up to 15 years in prison, despite his clear statement not calling for Tibetan Independence.
He began voicing concern publicly about the lack of Tibetan-language education after the authorities in Kyegundo, (Yushu in Chinese) stopped local monasteries and a private school in the area from teaching Tibetan to laypeople, according to the Times. In a 2016 New York Times mini-documentary, Wangchuk solemnly confided, “I can feel my ability to use and understand Tibetan language slipping away.”
The documentary, called A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice, focused on Wangchuk’s journey to Beijing to appeal for the protection of Tibetan language rights within the framework of the Chinese constitution and legal system.
Following his interviews with the New York Times, Wangchuk was secretly detained on January 27th, 2016. For 56 days after his arrest, his family had no information on his whereabouts. Tashi Wangchuk could face up to 15 years in prison.
Call on China to release Tashi Wangchuk immediately and unconditionally!
If there isn’t a protest near you, organize one! Find your nearest Chinese Embassy
You can also directly contact the Chief Procurator (Prosecutor) where Tashi Wangchuk is being detained.
More on Tashi Wangchuk:
China: Drop Charges Against Tibetan Education Activist Human Rights Watch
China Charges Tibetan Education Advocate With Inciting Separatism New York Times
Police in China Push for Trial of Tibetan Education Advocate New York Times
Chinese Prosecutors Ask Court for More Time in Detained Tibetan’s Case New York Times