2020 Kina: Tashi Wangchuk

Butikkeier Tashi Wangchuk har nå sittet fire år i kinesisk fengsel. Hans forbrytelse: Å be om at tibetansk brukes mer i undervisning og hos myndighetene. Tashi kommer fra byen Kyegudo, og advarte mot at det tibetanske språket forsvinner for mandarin i skoleverket og hos regionale styringsmakter.

Da han i 2015 stilte opp i en video hos New York Times, ble det for mye for Kina. Tashi ble arrestert, torturert og dømt til fem år i fengsel for «oppfordring til separatisme».

Under bildet følger brevet Norsk PEN og Fengslede forfatteres komité sender til president Xi Jinping i Kina om Tashis sak.

His Excellency Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R. China

Your Excellency,

The Norwegian PEN and its Writers in Prison Committee is hereby calling for the release of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk.

Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan small-business owner, has spent the last four years in detention for his peaceful advocacy for the Tibetan language to be taught in schools and used in local government. He was secretly arrested on January 27th, 2016, after featuring in a New York Times report highlighting his efforts to lobby local authorities for Tibetan language education. Tashi was not afforded a trial until almost two years later, when he received a one-day trial on charges of “inciting separatism.” After the trial, which was not open to the public and in which Tashi had limited access to his lawyer, he received a five-year sentence. Today, on the fourth anniversary of his arrest, Tashi remains in prison for his language-rights advocacy.

We are deeply concerned over how Tashi’s arrest and trial were marked by a lack of due process, including the fact that Tashi was reportedly tortured prior to his trial. In January 2019, Tashi’s lawyer reported that he was denied access to his client, despite the fact that he intended to discuss Tashi’s time-sensitive options for filing a petition for his release.

We would additionally like to emphasize that Tashi’s peaceful advocacy is consistent with the Chinese Constitution and its national laws, as well as with international law. Tashi himself has repeatedly indicated that his advocacy involves the pursuit of rights that are already present within the Chinese national system. To put it more simply, Tashi has committed no cognizable crime.

We believe that the right of everyone to learn, teach, and develop their native language must be protected. As such, we call upon the government of the People’s Republic of China to release Tashi Wangchuk, and to honor its own domestic and international obligations to uphold ethnic minorities’ rights to learn and develop their own spoken and written languages.

On behalf of the Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee,

Øivind Hånes
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN

Oslo, January 28th 2020