Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk released after five years in prison

Tibetan-language advocate Tashi Wangchuk in an undated file photo. Wangchuk has been released on 28 January 2021 after five years behind bars.

Tibetan-language advocate Tashi Wangchuk in an undated file photo. Wangchuk has been released on 28 January 2021 after five years behind bars. File photo/FreeTibet.org

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 29 January 2021

Tibetan-language advocate Tashi Wangchuk has been released after five years in prison, according to a press release by Free Tibet, a Tibet Support Group in the United Kingdom.

The group, quoting a tweet by Wangchuk’s Chinese lawyer Liang Xiaojun, said that Wangchuk was freed on Thursday, and was brought to his family in Trindu County in Kham (what China calls Chengdu, Qinghai), after completing a five-year prison sentence.

Liang wasn’t clear how free Wangchuk really is, due to lack of contact with his family.

Wangchuk was arrested in January 2016 after a New York Times interview in 2015 about his work protecting Tibetan language and culture. He was held without trial for two years, and was sentenced to five years in prison in May 2018 for “incitement to separatism”.

He was tortured and suffered extreme inhumane and degrading treatment during the early days of his detention. He was subjected to arduous interrogation and was repeatedly beaten. His interrogators also threatened to harm his family.

Tibetans and global Tibet activists expressed concern for Tashi Wangchuk’s safety and well-being, as for five more years he will be deprived of political rights, which means that he will not have the rights to “free expression, association, assembly, publication, vote, and to stand in elections”, and will also remain under constant surveillance.


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