China to try Tibetan Language advocate Tashi Wangchuk tomorrow for ‘inciting separatism’

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Jan 3: Chinese officials are planning to put Tashi Wangchuk, who advocates for broader Tibetan language education, on trial tomorrow for ‘inciting separatism’, a charge that could result in a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, The New York Times reported citing his lawyer.

16395558_1406797696031303_1807324153_n-1The 32-yr-old Tibetan language advocate, Tashi Wangchuk was arrested by the Yushu police on Jan 27, 2016, two months after the publication of his video and the first article on The New York Times about his language rights campaign for the Tibetan people, where in he called for Tibetan language education to be taught in schools across Tibet.

Tashi’s lawyer Liang Xiaojun has said that the trial will begin on the morning of Jan 4 at the Yushu Intermediate Court in Qinghai province.

Human rights groups have long criticised the Chinese government for using the broad charges of “separatism” and “subversion” to target ethnic minorities such as Tibetans and Uyghurs.  They have also denounced the trial scheduled for tomorrow stating that the accused in such cases are more often than not convicted and sentenced to prison by the Communist regime in China.

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) has further launched an ‘Urgent Call Action’ to the International Embassies in Beijing demanding for the immediate release of Tashi Wangchuk.

Tashi Wangchuk’s only crime was that he sought to promote Tibetan language education, which is guaranteed under Chinese and international law and to use Chinese law to pressure officials to faithfully implement Tibetan language rights.

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