By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 14: Former Tibetan political prisoner who escaped Tibet in December is in Washington DC to spread awareness on the situation inside Tibet and recount his ordeal before the international community. Dhondup Wangchen is scheduled to testify at a United States Congressional commission on Wednesday.
The Tibetan activist and filmmaker was charged with “inciting subversion” for his acclaimed documentary titled, “Leaving fear behind”. The film was extracted from over 40 hours of raw footage and later released worldwide by Zurich-based Filming for Tibet and Dhondup Wangchen’s cousin, Gyaljong Tsetrin. Wangchen and his filming assistant Golog Jigme interviewed and filmed 108 Tibetans from various parts of Tibet, discussing the political situation and repressive Chinese rule in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The Tibetan activist will be the key witness at the Congressional- Executive Commission on China chaired by Senator Marco Rubio and co-chaired by Representative Christopher Smith on Wednesday in Washington DC.
Tenzin Dorjee, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton and Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), will also testify at the hearing titled; Tibet “From All Angles”: Protecting Human Rights, Defending Strategic Access, and Challenging China’s Export of Censorship Globally.
“In this hearing, the Commission will hear from Dhondup Wangchen, a Tibetan filmmaker and former political prisoner, and other experts who will provide information about the current situation facing Tibetans in China and offer their recommendations on how to promote access, human rights, and better American diplomacy on issues concerning Tibetan autonomous areas of China within U.S.-China relations,” the official note on the hearing stated.