Oct 07, 2013

Tibet: Wife Of Jailed Filmmaker Appeals For His Release

Together with Hollywood actor Peter Coyote, the wife of the jailed Tibetan filmmaker Dhondrup Wangchen will appeal for his release on the occasion of this birthday, October 17th. 

Below is an article by: Phayul.com.

The wife of jailed Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen will appeal for her husband's release on Wednesday. Lhamo Tso will be accompanied by Hollywood actor Peter Coyote at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

Lhamo said she wanted to use the occasion of her husband's birthday on October 17 for her campaign which was assisted by the Bay Area Fiends of Tibet, California.

"For more than five years we have been waiting, his friends, his parents, his children and I myself have been waiting for his release," Lhamo says in a video for the campaign.

Dhondup is currently serving the final year of his sentence but there is a great anxiety and fear in the hearts of his family members. "The reason for our fear is the situation of the many prisoners released this year. We are hearing that many of them are not only in bad physical condition but seriously ill. That's why there is a great fear and uncertainty in our hearts. I therefore appeal to you to support for his release in good health."

The jailed Tibetan filmmaker is among four journalists honored by the global press freedom group last year with the International Press Freedom Awards for “risking their lives and liberty to reveal abuses of power and human rights violations.”

Dhondup Wangchen conceived and shot the film "Leaving Fear Behind" (Tib:Jigdrel) to portray life in Tibet in advance of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He was arrested on March 26, 2008 for filming interviews with ordinary Tibetans on their views on the Beijing Olympics, the Dalai Lama and Chinese government’s policies in Tibet.

Shortly after his footage was smuggled overseas, Wangchen was arrested.

Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison for “subversion” on December 28, 2009 following a secret trial. In January 2010, he was denied appeal.

In prison Wangchen contracted Hepatitis B and has been reported in poor health.

Wangchen’s hard-hitting documentary has been screened in over 30 countries with his wife Lhamo Tso travelling internationally to campaign for her husband's release.

After suffering harsh treatment and months of solitary confinement at the Xichuan labour camp in Siling, eastern Tibet, Dhondup was shifted to a women’s prison early this year.