Photo: NY Times
DHARAMSHALA, MAY 23: The United States’ government has expressed its disappointment over the sentencing of Tibetan language right activist Tashi Wangchuk to five years by a Chinese court in Yushu.
The US Department of State in a press release said that the US is “deeply disappointed that the Chinese government convicted Tashi Wangchuk, an advocate for Tibetan language education, on the charge of "inciting separatism" for exercising his fundamental freedom of expression in calling on the government to give greater attention and resources to teach the Tibetan language in Tibetan areas.
“We urge Chinese authorities to release Tashi Wangchuk immediately, and to protect the distinct religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of Tibetans,” said Heather Nauert, State
Tibetan language right activist Tashi Wangchuk was sentenced to five years imprisonment on May 22 by Yushu Intermediate People’s Court, in Jyekundo County in the Kham region of Tibet, his lawyer Liang Xiaojun Tweeted.
Tashi Wangchuk, a 33 year old Tibetan E commerce entrepreneur has been in jail for over two years on what Tibetan exiles call “politically motivated charges” of inciting separatism” following his pursuit to fight for Tibetan people’s right to Tibetan language education.
Tashi was arrested on 27 January 2016 after a New York Times news article and a video report came out, documenting Tashi’s mission to file a formal complaint against Chinese officials for failing to support Tibetans’ right to Tibetan language education.
Tashi ran an online business on Alibaba, major Chinese internet e-commerce site, and featured in a promotional video in 2014 for Alibaba as an example of entrepreneurial success.
Yushu, called Gyegu in Tibetan, is one of the predominantly Tibetan areas under Chinese occupation. The government has encouraged increasing use of Chinese language in schools and official settings across these areas.