London/Beijing, August 24 - A letter was sent today to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge asking once more for his support to free Dhondup Wangchen and Golog Jigme, the two Tibetan filmmakers who made the documentary film "Leaving fear Behind" *. Thousands of people around the world have joined this appeal. So far, there has been no response by the IOC concerning this matter.
Lhamo-Tso, wife of Dhondup Wangchen, appealed to Rogge to help her to free her husband. Dhondup Wangchen was arrested with his friend Golog Jigme in March 2008 for filming a documentary that contains critical remarks about the Olympics and Chinese rule in Tibet.
About the film: "Leaving Fear Behind" (www.leavingfearbehind.com
) is a 25 minute documentary made by a Tibetan filmmaker inside Tibet. The self-taught filmmmaker, Dhondup Wangchen, and his monk cameraman, Golog Jigme, filmed testimonies of a range of people in Eastern Tibet, about their views on the Dalai Lama, the Beijing Olympics and Chinese rule. Each interviewee knew the risks they were taking in being filmed but were adamant that their faces be shown. Dhondup Wangchen managed to send his footage out of Tibet but was subsequently arrested. Both he and his cameraman are currently in Chinese custody.
Dechen Pemba, for Filming for Tibet: +44 778 482 3907* The full text of Lhamo-Tso's letter reads:
Dear Mr. Rogge:
My name is Lhamotso and I am the wife of Dhondup Wangchen. It is with desperation and sorrow over the fate of my husband and Golog Jigme, who has been detained by Chinese authorities since March 2008. Their crime was to film Tibetans’ peaceful expression of their views on the XXIX Olympic Games.
My husband, Dhondup Wangchen, from Hualong, Haidong (Qinghai) was detained by authorities on or about March 26, 2008. He was held in Ershilipu Detention Center in Xining (Qinghai), and was last seen in Guangsheng Binguan on or about July 12, 2008.
Dhondup Wangchen spent most of his time helping the needy and serving the community. He’s a very good husband and also a good father to our four children. I appeal to the Chinese Government to release Dhondup. I urge you and the IOC to use your influence on China so that the host of the Olympic Games remains true to its promises of freedom of expression to the people.
Tomorrow, the Games in Beijing will be over, the people from all over the world will return home taking away the spot light from China. I beg you on behalf of my children and Dhondup’s family to use the last day and opportunity to speak out on behalf of my husband.