The case of detained Tibetan education advocate has reached a critical stage. His trial is expected to take place in the coming days. He could face 15 years in a Chinese prison, simply for advocating for the Tibetan people’s right to education in their language.
Tashi Wangchuk is a young entrepreneur from Kyegudu (Chinese: Yushu) from Kham province in eastern Tibet. He is also an advocate for Tibetan language rights.
In order to assimilate Tibetans into Chinese culture, Mandarin has become the main medium of education in schools across Tibet. Anxious about the survival of Tibetan language, which forms the bedrock of his culture and identity, he explored legal options to appeal to the Chinese authorities. When no law firm was prepared to take on his lawsuit and no national media outlets reported on his case, he spoke to the international media.
Pressure is building on the Chinese government. It’s time for Australia to step in and speak up.
Name: Druklo (Pen name - Shokjang) Age: 31
Summary: Tibetan writer and blogger sentenced to three years in prison on 17 February 2016 after being ‘disappeared’ for almost a year. Details of the charges against him are not known. Days after his detention, from his prison cell he wrote a powerful letter to the provincial court, challenging his prison term. But he has no access to lawyers and faces risk of torture.
Sentence: 3 years
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was just six years old in 1995 when he was recognised by his Holiness the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama, one of Tibet's most important religious leaders. Days later he and his family were taken into custody by Chinese authorities and have not been seen since.
The Panchen Lama has been called the world’s youngest political prisoner.
The two key dates are 25 April, His Holiness the Panchen Lama’s birthday, and 17 May, the date that he was abducted.