DHARAMSALA, May 25: China has warned countries against criticizing the five-year sentence it handed to Tibetan language activist Tashi Wangchuk and further threatened that it could jeopardize bilateral relations.
A Chinese judge at the Intermediate Court in Jyekundo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture announced the verdict on charges of ‘inciting separatism earlier this week on May 22. The ruling has led to widespread condemnation from human rights organisations and the international community, media reports said.
While the rights group condemned China for the trumped-up charges, China has warned countries against criticizing the sentence it handed to Tibetan language activist Tashi Wangchuk and further called it a domestic affair and warned that the interference jeopardizes bilateral relations.
According to a report on The Quint, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang has come down heavily on the French Government’s criticism of the sentence.
The French Foreign Affairs Ministry has criticized the prison sentence China has handed to Tashi Wangchuk and said that France ‘was committed to the protection of human rights’.
“We hope other countries and governments will not interfere in China’s internal matters,” Lu Kang has said in the report.
Lu Kang has further said that such comments are likely to have a harmful effect on China’s bilateral diplomatic relationships.
Apart from France, the U.S. and the Canadian Government have both condemned the sentencing and called for Tashi Wangchuk’s immediate release.
Tashi Wangchuk’s only crime was that he sought to promote Tibetan language education, which is guaranteed under the Chinese and international law and to use Chinese law to pressure officials to faithfully implement Tibetan language rights in a New York Times documentary.
The 32-yr-old Tibetan language advocate 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, wherein he called for Tibetan language education to be taught in schools across Tibet. After his arrest, the Chinese authorities held him in pre-trial detention for nearly two years without any access to his family.
The Tibetan language advocate will be due for release in early 2021, His lawyers said as his prison term will start from the time of his arrest.