Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile calls on UN to help arrested Tibetan filmmaker

Dhondup Wangchen
Dhondup Wangchen

Dharamshala: The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile has sought the help of the United Nations to engage the Chinese government in facilitating the immediate release of an arrested Tibetan filmmaker whose case is known to be heard today by a court in Siling in Tibet (Ch:Xining, incorporated into China’s Qinghai Province).

Dhondup Wangchen, a 35-year-old Tibetan and his assistant Golok Jigme or Jigme Gyatso, a Tibetan monk of Labrang Monastery, were arrested by Chinese authorities in March 2008 for making “Leaving Fear Behind” – a film shot in Tibet detailing lives of the Tibetan people under China’s rule, views about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Beijing Olympics.

In a letter to Mrs Navanethem Pillay, the chief of United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights dated 1 August, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile said: “The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile request you to kindly intervene
to provide immediate medical assistance assistance and unconditional release
of Dhondup Wangchen, an amateur Tibetan filmmaker. He is seriously ill and is
reportedly being tried today in Siling for allegedly inciting separatism.”

The Tibetan Parliament said “recording people’s views on a particular issue does not undermine any Chinese law.”

The Tibetan Parliament expressed its concern that the Chinese government has barred Dhondup Wangchen from meeting with his family members, including four children, who are residing in India.

“We urge you to take this matter with the Chinese authorities immediately and in earnest,” the Tibetan Parliament said in the letter.

The Tibetans living in exile and Tibetan supporters across the globe have stepped up peaceful campaigns for the release of Dhondup Wangchen, who is believed to be in poor health condition.

A copy of the letter was forwarded to Ms Irene Khan, Secretary General, Amnesty International, Geneva.