In May 2018, Tibetan language activist Tashi Wangchuk was sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for 'inciting separatism'. He broke no laws but is instead being punished for exposing the oppression faced by Tibetans and sharing the briefest glimpse of this with the outside world. Tashi Wangchuk wanted China's own constitution to be adhered to and for Tibetan children to be taught their own language in schools. What he got was a four-hour trial where recordings of his interviews with foreign media – in which he discussed nothing but his language education campaign – were used against him as "evidence".
Tashi Wangchuk never stood much of a chance. In Tibet – a country under military occupation by China since 1950 – the court system finds 99.9 per cent of defendants guilty. He joins countless other Tibetan political prisoners facing cruelty, torture and even death in Chinese prisons. In February, with an appeal against his conviction denied and with the one-year anniversary of his sentencing approaching, Tashi Wangchuk was denied access to his lawyer, leaving him to learn of his father's death from a prison guard. This, again, is something that goes against China's own constitution and is in violation of his human rights.
Tibet is one of the most closed places on Earth. A place that China will not let Tibetans leave, for fear that the world will learn the truth. With China's ever-increasing global influence, Free Tibet exists to ensure the human rights abuses in Tibet are not ignored. From our field office in northern India we gather and report the news from inside Tibet, pressure governments to condemn China's human rights abuses there and ensure Tibetans do not stand alone.
But we can't do this on our own. It's with your support that we can further the impact. Please join our struggle, and add your name to those standing with Tibetans like Tashi Wangchuk.