Tashi Wangchuk, a prominent Tibetan language advocate and former political prisoner, was shot by an unidentified group of people in eastern Tibet on the night of August 19, according to a report to the London-based human rights group Free Tibet. man attacked.
Free Tibet reports that Wangchuck was attacked while staying at a hotel in Dar Lak County after traveling to the area to raise awareness about the disappearance of Tibetan in schools.
Before heading to the hotel, Wangchuck filmed a video of himself near the Dalak County National High School and posted it on Chinese social media platform Douyin at 7:14 p.m.
According to Wangchuck, the door of his hotel room was forcibly opened by a group of men wearing face masks around 8 p.m. Wangchuck believes the men followed him from school to the hotel and beat the activist for about 10 minutes before he called the hotel owner to contact the police.
Tenzin Niwo, a researcher at the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, said the attackers forced Wangchuk to delete all photos and videos he had taken from his phone earlier in the day, and pointed to the involvement of Chinese police. He obtained the information from a source who cannot be named for security reasons.
According to Wangchuck’s report in Free Tibet, the police arrived at the scene around 9:00 p.m. and Wangchuck was taken to the police station for interrogation, where he stayed until 11:30 p.m.
Wangchuck said that after leaving the police station, he was turned away by various hotels, as well as by the Dalak County Hospital, where doctors claimed the CT machine was broken. Wangchuck stayed on the first floor of the hospital all night.
Wangchuk called the attack an “illegal act of gang crime and government officials breaking the law and covering each other.”
detained and tortured
Tashi Wangse rose to fame in 2015 through an interview with The Times of India. New York Times About his efforts to sue local authorities in eastern Tibet after Tibetan language classes were cancelled.
In 2016, Wangchuck was arrested and tortured by Chinese authorities. Wangchuck was released in 2021 after two years in pretrial detention and five years in prison.
He has since continued to travel throughout Tibet, raising awareness of Chinese authorities’ repression of the Tibetan language in schools and petitioning government officials to defend and preserve the Tibetan language and culture.
Leaders and activists in and outside Tibet condemned the attack. Many accused the Chinese police of being the perpetrators.
“It is not uncommon for Tibetans, especially those who speak out for Tibet, to see more severe abuse and harassment by the Chinese government against Tibetans,” said Tenzin Lekshey, spokesman for the Central Tibetan Administration. It is very sad that Siwangser has to go through this, but it clearly shows that there is no rule of law in this country.”
“China has long been known for threatening and persecuting Tibetan language advocates simply to protect their cultural identity and most basic rights,” Laksh said. “We strongly oppose the Chinese government’s actions to violate Tibetan rights and improve the situation in Tibet. “
Translated by Tenzin Diji. Edited by Claire McRae and Malcolm Foster.