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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Wife and cousin of Tibetan filmmaker worried, appeal for help

July 28, 2009

Phayul [Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:49]

Dharamsala, 21 July - The wife and cousin of detained Tibetan filmmaker
Dhondup Wangchen, whose film ?leaving fear behind? documented the
Tibetan people?s opposition to the Chinese government and loyalty
towards the Dalai Lama, have expressed serious concerns about his
health. Lhamo Tso, Dhondup?s wife now living here, and Gyaljong Tsetrin,
his cousin based in Switzerland, have appealed to the international
community for help.

Recent information acquired form Tibet indicate that Dhondup suffers
from Hepatitis B and receives no medical treatment in detention.
Dhondup's family appointed lawyer in Beijing, under government pressure,
has been forced to drop the case.

"Before hearing this latest news, I hadn't had any news about Dhondup
for over a year", said Lhamo Tso. "I have always known him to be a
healthy and active person, I cannot imagine what terrible torture he has
gone through in Chinese custody. Knowing that he is receiving no
treatment for Hepatitis B makes me fear for his life, I dare not tell
our four children here about his condition", she added.

Dhondup, 35, has been in detention since March 26, 2008, for filming
interviews with ordinary Tibetans on their views on the Olympic Games,
the Dalai Lama and Chinese government policies in Tibet. His film was
first shown to journalists in Beijing two days before the start of the
Olympics in August 2008.

"Dhondup has committed no crime and should not be in prison at all",
said his cousin Gyaljong. ?Documenting the views of ordinary people is a
basic human right and freedom of expression is guaranteed in Chinese
law. The Chinese government has shown no regard for rule of law and has
even barred an independent lawyer from taking up this case. Therefore I
call upon human rights organisations and supporters all over the world
to urge their government representatives in Beijing to pressure the
Chinese government to unconditionally release Dhondup."

To date, Dhondup?s film has been shown in over 30 countries worldwide
and further translated into many foreign languages including French,
Spanish, German, Polish, Hungarian, Japanese and Chinese. International
organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and
Amnesty International have expressed their concerns about Dhondup?s
health and condition in prison.

Dhondup was born on 17th October 1974 in Bayen in the Tsoshar region of
Amdo, the northeastern province of Tibet (in Chinese: Hualong, Haidong,
Qinghai). Born into a farming family, he received no formal education.
In 1993 Dhondup and his cousin Gyaljong fled Tibet to meet the Dalai
Lama. Dhondup returned to Tibet and his cousin sought political refuge
in Switzerland. Dhondup managed to smuggle out the videotapes to his
cousin in Switzerland days before last year?s unrest in Tibet.
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