China has provided no evidence that he has committed any crime.
The last obstacle to a trial was cleared earlier this month when state prosecutors concluded a second investigation into the Tibetan language advocate’s case.
Tashi Wangchuk has been held in detention for almost a year since his arrest on 27 January last year. During this time, he has had little access to family and his lawyers have only been able to visit him twice.
International observers need to be present at any trial to ensure that it is fair and transparent. International governments must also press China to ensure that if there is no evidence of Tashi Wangchuk having committed an internationally recognised crime these unfair charges are dropped.
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Tashi Wangchuk is 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.
His attempts to persuade the local government to provide Tibetan language information in schools were featured in an article and documentary in the New York Times in November 2015. Tashi Wangchuk pursued his campaign peacefully through official channels. He repeatedly maintained that his actions were not political.
Two months later he was arrested, and later charged with “inciting separatism”. It is likely he is being punished because he had the courage to work with the New York Times to highlight threats to Tibetan culture, despite the risk he would be arrested.