China dismisses EU criticism against Tibetan activist sentence

Tibetan Buddhist monks protest for Tashi Wangchuk.

Tibetan Buddhist monks protest for Tashi Wangchuk. File photo/AP


BEIJING, China, 24 May 2018

China on Wednesday dismissed criticism from foreign countries over the five-year sentence to Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk, saying that other countries should not interfere in its internal affairs.

Wangchuk, 33, was arrested in early 2016, two months after he was featured in a New York Times video and article about Tibetan language education.

A Chinese judge sentenced him to five years in prison for inciting separatism.

The judicial department of China has dealt with Wangchuk’s case according to local laws and regulations, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media here when asked about EU’s criticism of the sentence.

The French Foreign Ministry too has criticised the sentencing. “Hope other countries and governments will not interfere in China’s internal affairs and this will influence bilateral relations between China and other countries,” Lu said. The Chair of the EU Subcommittee on Human Rights, Pier Antonio Panzeri, expressed grave concern over the verdict.

“I am gravely concerned about the verdict of a Court in the Chinese city of Yushu, sentencing Tashi Wangchuk to five years imprisonment on charges of inciting separatism,” Panzer said in statement released by EU here today.

“Wangchuk undertook fully legitimate work advocating for the linguistic and cultural rights of Tibetans, as it became known through a documentary film published by the New York Times. The peaceful activity of promoting the use of the Tibetan language in local schools should never be punished as this is a basic human right guaranteed by the Chinese constitution and legal system,” he said.

“It is highly regrettable and unjust that Wangchuk already had to spend two years in detention. I call on the Chinese authorities to respect the basic principles of a fair and transparent trial and guarantee meaningful consideration of the facts during the appeal phase.”

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