By Tenzin Dharpo
Wangchuk. photo- TCHRD
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 11: A Tibetan man in occupied Tibet’s Shigatse city has reportedly been sentenced for sharing materials on the Chinese micro messaging app Wechat, that include teachings of the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a Tibetan translation of a book by the Tibetan leader’s brother ‘The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong’.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy said that Wangchuk, 45, was detained by Chinese authorities around 8 March from Shigatse city while he was returning from one of his business trips to Lhasa in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). There is no confirmed information about the exact whereabouts of Wangchuk but his family members believe that he had been sentenced and imprisoned at Nyari Prison in Shigatse, the rights group further said.
Further adding to the troubles of Wangchuk’s family, authorities have cut off government subsidies and benefits such as the old-age insurance of members of the household which is financially heavily reliant on the Wangchu, who is now behind bars.
Wangchuk’s large joint family comprising of 10 members’ hails from Karchung Village in Zurtso Township in Nyalam County, Shigatse Prefecture. The Tibetan man earned his livelihood selling goods between Lhasa and border town of Dram adjoining Nepal.
The Dharamshala based rights group said it calls on the Chinese authorities to stop harassing and persecuting Wangchuk’s family members and restore all their welfare benefits and human rights with immediate effect, and to release him immediately and unconditionally because his imprisonment violates established human rights and international law.
Wangchuk joins a long list of Tibetans in occupied Tibet who have been detained and sentenced for sending and sharing materials that the Chinese government deems endangering stability and stoking anti-national sentiments on Wechat. Many of the banned materials include images, teachings and speeches of the Dalai Lama.