DHARAMSHALA: The Canadian government through its embassy in China yesterday issued a strong statement calling on the Chinese government for the immediate and unconditional release of Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk.
“Mr Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan language advocate, was detained in January 2016 for peacefully raising concern about the lack of Tibetan-language education in Yushu County, and sentenced on May 22 2018 to five years in prison for inciting separatism. Canada calls on the Government of China to release Tashi Wangchuk immediately and unconditionally. Canada urges the Chinese government to uphold its own Constitution and laws, and to respect its international human rights obligations. Canada supports the February 2018 United Nations Special Rapporteurs statement, which condemns the detention of Mr Tashi Wangchuk as the criminalisation of linguistic and cultural rights advocacy,” the statement said.
Tashi Wangchuk was sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court yesterday for allegedly “inciting separatism”. He was tried earlier this year on January 4 at Yushu Intermediate People’s Court but the court adjourned without a verdict at that time.
He was first detained on 27 January 2016 for publicly advocating Tibetan language education in schools in Tibetan populated areas. Two months before his detention, Tashi Wangchuk appeared in a New York Times documentary in which he can be seen advocating for the rights of Tibetans to learn and study in their mother tongue.