Tell China: Free Tibetan Filmmaker

Over three years ago, plainspoken businessman Dhondup Wangchen bought a small camera and began interviewing monks and yak herders for his documentary film Leaving Fear Behind. He bravely gave a voice to Tibetans living under China's rule. Sadly, after finishing the film, he was arrested and his own voice was silenced.

As a prisoner of the Chinese government, Wangchen:
* endured torture to extract a confession.
* contracted hepatitis B and is denied adequate treatment.
* had the lawyer he chose replaced with a government-appointed one--violating his right to choose his own counsel and denying him access to independent legal assistance.

Wangchen's arrest and sentence of 6 years in prison prove that the Chinese government will not allow Tibetans any expression that opposes Chinese rule. Tell the Chinese government to release Dhondup Wangchen and to uphold the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial in future cases.
Dear President Jintao,

Dhondup Wangchen bravely gave a voice to Tibetans through his film Leaving Fear Behind. Sadly, making this film led to his arrest and sent a message to the world that China will not tolerate voices of opposition.

As a prisoner of the Chinese government, Wangchen:

* endured torture to extract a confession.

* contracted hepatitis B and is denied adequate treatment.

* had the lawyer he chose replaced with a government-appointed one--violating his right to choose his own counsel and denying him access to independent legal assistance.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers", and that "everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him". I feel that the arrest of Dhondup Wangchen and his treatment while detained violate these rights.

I urge you to release Dondhup Wangchen immediately and uphold the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial in future cases.
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