Tuesday 18 September 2012

Dhondup Wangchen to receive 2012 International Press Freedom Award

Phayul[Friday, September 14, 2012 01:38]
Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen
Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen
 Dhondup Wangchen, a self-taught Tibetan documentary filmmaker has been named as one of the winners of the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2012 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting.

The jailed Tibetan filmmake is among four journalists recognised by the global press freedom group for “risking their lives and liberty to reveal abuses of power and human rights violations.” 

The other awardees, include Mauri K├Ânig (Gazeta do Povo, Brazil), Mae Azango (FrontPage Africa and New Narratives, Liberia), and and Azimjon Askarov (Ferghana News and Golos Svobody, Kyrgyzstan).

CPJ in a release announcing the winners said these journalists have faced “severe reprisals for their work, including assault, threats, and torture.”

“Askarov is serving a life sentence in connection with his coverage of official corruption, and Wangchen is serving a six-year prison term following his documentation of Tibetan life under Chinese rule,” CPJ said.

Dhondup Wangchen conceived and shot the film "Leaving Fear Behind" (Tib:Jigdrel) to portray life in Tibet in advance of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He was arrested on March 26, 2008 for filming interviews with ordinary Tibetans on their views on the Beijing Olympics, the Dalai Lama and Chinese government’s policies in Tibet. 

Shortly after his footage was smuggled overseas, Wangchen disappeared into Chinese detention. 

Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison for “subversion” on December 28, 2009 following a secret trial. In January 2010, he was denied appeal.

In prison Wangchen contracted Hepatitis B and has been reported in poor health.

Wangchen’s hard-hitting documentary has been screened in over 30 countries with his wife Lhamo Tso travelling internationally to campaign for her husband's release.

"We are inspired by these journalists who have paid a high price for their enduring dedication to the truth," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Two--Azimjon Askarov and Dhondup Wangchen--have actually been arrested and jailed for their critical reporting. We will not rest until they are free."

All of the winners will be honored at CPJ's annual awards dinner in New York City on November 20, 2012, an event that Dhondup Wangchen will surely miss.

Monday 10 September 2012

China jails teenaged Tibetan girl for separatism

(TibetanReview.net, Sep10, 2012)  China on Aug 25 jailed a 17-year-old Tibetan girl to a three-year for three years for alleged splittism after she staged a lone protest in Karze County of Sichuan Province on Jun 24, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Sep 6. The girl, Jigme Dolma, was taken out of the Tibetan county of Karze to an unknown location to serve her sentence, the report added. Her family was allowed to see her only while she was held in Karze.

On Jun 24, Jigme Dolma staged a lone protest march from a bridge in the county towards an intersection at the centre of Karze town, throwing leaflets in the air and calling for freedom for Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama from exile, and the release of Tibetan political prisoners. She was noticed and set upon by a horde of Chinese police when she reached the main part of the town and was severely beaten by them as they took her into custody.

On Jun 28, her relatives finally located her in a local hospital in seriously injured conditions, with an arm in splint.

Chinese flag pulled down, Tibetan flag hoisted in Tibet

Phayul[Monday, September 10, 2012 11:13]
In growing expressions of defiance against China’s rule, protesters have pulled down a Chinese flag and raised the Tibetan national flag at a school in eastern Tibet.

Leaflets calling for Tibet’s freedom, written in red ink, were also scattered around the flagpole.

According to exiled Tibetans with contacts in the region, the Chinese flag at a school in Dzachukha Wonpo region of Kardze was pulled down at around midnight on Friday. Instead, the ‘banned in Tibet’ Tibetan national flag was hoisted.

The same sources also confirmed that many leaflets carrying the words ‘Freedom for Tibet’ written in red ink were scattered on the school grounds.

Local Chinese government officials arrived at the school on Saturday and removed the Tibetan flag and the leaflets. Although no arrests have been made so far, officials have vowed to investigate the incident.

In the same region, earlier this year in February, Tibetans pulled down a Chinese flag at a flag raising ceremony.

A few days later, coinciding with the call for a global solidarity vigil for Tibet on February 8, Tibetans in Akhori town of Gyalrong in Amdo Ngaba region, pulled down all Chinese flags from government offices and hospitals in the town.

Earlier this month, despite heavy restrictions over the possession of portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tibet by the Chinese government, Tibetans in Bathang region paraded large pictures of the exiled spiritual leader.

Defying Chinese orders, Tibetans taking part in the enthronement ceremony of Trulku Tenzin Nyima, a reincarnate lama, at the Changkar Monastery were seen carrying large portraits of the Dalai Lama on their motorbikes.

Around 10,000 Tibetans had taken part in the ceremony September 1.

Tibetans have been tortured and jailed for up to six years in prison over the possession of the Dalai Lama’s pictures and Tibetan national flags.