DHARAMSHALA, May 8: The Amnesty International has demanded the unconditional release of Tibetan right activist Tashi Wangchuk on his third consecutive birthday spent behind bars.
“Imprisoning Tashi to silence him will not stop other Tibetans from struggling to preserve their language, culture and identity. The government must not keep ethnic minority children caged in an education system that force-feeds Mandarin Chinese and a uniform national curriculum in the name of “unification of the country and unity of all its nationalities”, the Amnesty International said on its website.
Tashi has been in detention since January 2016 because he appeared in a widely circulated New York Times
video documentary titled “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice”, which told the story of his journey, from a remote ethnic Tibetan-populated area of Qinghai province in western China to Beijing, to seek legal assistance in filing a lawsuit against local officials regarding the lack of Tibetan language education in schools.
“The local government is controlling the actual Tibetan culture, such as the spoken and written language. It looks like development or help on the surface, but actually the goal is to eliminate our culture,” Tashi was seen saying in an interview from that video.
“His crime in the eyes of the authorities was to peacefully defend Tibetan culture. For this he could face up to 15 years in prison,” said Amnesty International.