On 4 January 2018, Tashi Wangchuk stood trial for “inciting separatism”. He is awaiting a verdict and, if found guilty, could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.
China has not provided any evidence that he has committed a crime.
Tashi Wangchuk, is a Tibetan businessman and language advocate from Yushu in eastern Tibet. He became an advocate for the teaching of the Tibetan language after Tibetan classes were closed down in his local area, prompting concerns that future generations of Tibetans would grow up unable to speak their mother tongue.
In November 2015, he conducted an interview with the New York Times about his language advocacy. Despite the ongoing repression in Tibet, Tashi Wangchuk insisted that his interviews be on the record.
Tashi Wangchuk's language advocacy was peaceful, non-political and conducted through official channels. His goal – that all Tibetan children should have access to Tibetan language instruction – was entirely in line with the Chinese Constitution. He was nevertheless arrested on 27 January 2016. He has been in detention ever since.
On 4 January, after two years in detention, Tashi Wangchuk finally stood trial. Journalists and foreign diplomats who attempted to observe his trial were denied access to the court. The four-hour hearing concluded without a verdict, which could come at any time.
Tashi Wangchuk fully denies that he has incited “separatism”, but, if found guilty, he could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Take Action for Tashi Wangchuk
The Chinese authorities are well aware of the international attention that Tashi Wangchuk’s case has generated. Free Tibet and our supporters have worked with diplomats and foreign ministries around the world to call for his release. Now we need to press the Chinese authorities directly.
Write to the Chinese Minister of Justice and tell him that Tashi Wangchuk must be immediately released.