Tag Archives | Dhondup Wangchen

US Members of Congress Introduce Resolutions to Commemorate Tibet’s 1959 Uprising as “Tibetan Rights Day”

February 15, 2018

Today, Senators Leahy (D), Feinstein (D), and Cruz (R) and Representatives McGovern (D) and Hultgren (R), introduced companion resolutions to commemorate the 1959 Tibetan Uprising as “Tibetan Rights Day” on March 10, and to support the human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The resolutions recall that on March 10, 1959 the people of Lhasa rose to protect the residence of the Dalai Lama, fearing for his life, and that an estimated 87,000 were later killed during the ensuing violent crackdown orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party. Furthermore, the resolutions recalls that March 10, 2018 is also the tenth anniversary of the 2008 protests that started in Lhasa and then spread across the Tibetan plateau, which were brutally suppressed by Chinese authorities. At least 152 Tibetans have self-immolated inside the PRC in protest against Chinese rule since then.

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Testimony of Dhondup Wangchen at the Hearing by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on “Tibet From All Angles: Protecting Human Rights, Defending Strategic Access, and Challenging China’s Export of Censorship Globally”

February 14, 2018

Honorable Senator Rubio and Representative Smith,

I am very grateful for this opportunity to testify before the Congressional Executive Commission on China on my experiences in Tibet under the Chinese authorities.

My name is Dhondup Wangchen. I was born on October 17, 1974 to a family of Tibetan farmers in Bayen which is in the province we call Amdo. In today’s administrative divisions, Bayen is in Tsoshar prefecture, Qinghai province, People’s Republic of China.

I arrived in USA on December 25, 2017 and it was the first time in many years that I felt safety and freedom. The reunion with my family in San Francisco was a wonderful moment that I had looked forward to in the past years, with a mixture of anxious joy and the hesitation a man feels who was hindered to be the husband he ought to be for his loving wife; a man who was not given the chance to stand by with fatherly advice to his children in a world full of challenges, and a man denied being the son needed for his aging parents, tormented by the thought that they wouldn’t see each other again in their lifetime.

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Tibetan Activist Dhondup Wangchen to testify before United States Congress, during first visit to Washington, DC

February 9, 2018

Tibetan video activist Dhondup Wangchen is visiting Washington, DC from February 9 to 15, 2018 to testify at a Hearing organized by the Congressional Executive Commission on China and will meet Congressional and Administration officials. The Hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 14 from 10am to 12pm in 301 Russell Senate Office Building. In addition to calling on the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he will also meet with Washington based NGOs as well as the Tibetan community.

Detained by Chinese authorities in Tibet in March 2008 for making the documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind” (in which ordinary Tibetans expressed their feelings about their situation in the light of the Beijing Olympics), Dhondup Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison for “inciting subversion”. His friend and assistant, Tibetan monk Golok Jigme, suffered from detention and torture, too. Dhondup was released at the end of his sentence in 2014, but continued to be deprived of his freedom.

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Dhondup Wangchen arrives safely in the United States

International Campaign for Tibet welcomes former political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen to freedom and safety

December 27, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet strongly welcomes the news that Tibetan filmmaker and former political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen has been able to leave his homeland and reunite with his wife and children in the United States.

Despite having served his prison sentence, Dhondup continued to be limited in his freedom of movement, but was finally able to overcome those challenges, leave Tibet and pursue his deeply held desire to reunite with his family.

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US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Reiterates call for Filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen’s reunification with his family

The United States has reiterated a call to enable Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen to reunite with his family. In her opening remarks at a screening of Dhondup’s documentary, Leaving Fear Behind, on December 11, 2014, Under Secretary of State and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Sarah Sewall made the call when talking about the film. […]

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An interview with Golog Jigme, respected monk and ‘Information Hero’ after his daring escape from Tibet

July 29, 2014

Golog Jigme, a respected Tibetan monk, teacher and former political prisoner, arrived safely in India in May after a perilous journey into exile from Tibet following 20 months in hiding.

Golog Jigme (Jigme Gyatso) worked with film-maker Dhondup Wangchen in interviewing 108 Tibetans about their views and feelings before the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The interviews became a powerful documentary, ‘Leaving Fear Behind’, that enabled the voices of Tibetan nomads, elders, monks and others in remote areas across the plateau to be heard in international capitals, by Parliamentarians, government officials, exile Tibetans and even journalists in Beijing.

As a result of the film, Dhondup Wangchen was imprisoned for six years; he was released on June 5 (2014) and remains in Tibet. Jigme Gyatso was arrested, severely tortured, and held for seven months before he was released in October 2008. In 2012, he was detained again, and managed to escape from custody and to go into hiding, where he remained under constant fear of re-arrest prior to his escape.

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ICT welcomes release of Dhondup Wangchen

June 5, 2014

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the release of filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen. The award winning filmmaker was released as his prison term of six years came to an end, according to a press release by Filming for Tibet which has campaigned for his release.

“He was held six years too long for simply making a film. Freedom of expression is a universal right and must be exercised by all citizens. We are glad Dhondup has now left the prison and we hope he will soon be able to rejoin his family,” said Matteo Mecacci, President the International Campaign for Tibet.

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Leaving Fear Behind

Screening of Leaving Fear Behind in the European Parliament

January 22, 2014

MEP Leonidas Donskis (ALDE, Lithuania) and the International Campaign for Tibet screened an important documentary on Tibet in the European Parliament yesterday (January 21). Leaving Fear Behind is a rare film featuring interviews with Tibetans across Tibet boldly expressing their views to camera about the Dalai Lama, the Olympics and human rights. Dhondup Wangchen, who travelled across Tibet to record the interviews, was imprisoned for six years as a result of the film.

The screening in the European Parliament was followed by a debate about the situation of political prisoners and freedom of expression in Tibet since 2008, and the relationship of China and the EU. MEP Donskis observed that Tibetans face many obstacles; on the one hand that China is challenging Europe with its ‘authoritarian modernisation’, while on the other, Tibet is fighting “our moral blindness” when European democracies are celebrating the economic might of China.

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Dhondup Wangchen

Dhondup Wangchen faces trial: new information on charges

Dhondup Wangchen, who was detained last year soon after completing filming of a documentary, may be facing charges of “inciting separatism” and espionage, according to information from an official source passed onto Western governments. Charges were brought against Dhondup Wangchen, who was denied access to a Chinese lawyer of his family’s choice, in June 2009. […]

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Dhondup Wangchen

Crackdown on lawyers: legal think-tank shut down, fears for ‘Leaving Fear Behind’ film-maker Dhondup Wangchen

The Chinese authorities have intensified a crackdown against lawyers. Today a legal research center run by activist lawyers who have challenged state policies on issues including Tibet was shut down. In Tibet, there is further evidence that lawyers are being blocked from defending cases of Tibetans in prison following the protests that began last year, […]

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Labrang Jigme

Call for international commitment on Human Rights Day as Tibetans face harsh consequences for dissent

On the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights today, Tibet remains under severe crackdown following six months of protests from March 10 across the plateau.

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