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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Free The Press… From Imprisonment

June 24, 2012
As World Press Freedom Day approaches on May 3, journalists are being silenced around the world. In too many places, journalists are imprisoned, attacked, intimidated, murdered or disappeared for trying to report the news or exercise freedom of expression.
In the coming days, the U.S. Department of State will highlight emblematic cases of these threats to journalists and continue to call on all governments to protect the universal human right to freedom of expression.

Tibetan Filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen
Detained and Imprisoned Since 2008
Dhondup Wangchen is a Tibetan filmmaker who has been detained by Chinese authorities since March 2008 on charges related to his production of a 25-minute documentary titled “Leaving Fear Behind.”
The film is based on 40 hours of footage and 108 interviews that Wangchen conducted over five months.  The footage includes candid conversations conducted in China’s Amdo region (located principally in Qinghai province) with Tibetans who expressed views on a range of issues, from the Dalai Lama and the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the human rights situation in Tibetan areas.  Shortly after the film was distributed outside of China, Wangchen and his assistant, Jigme Gyatso, were arrested.
Wangchen was reportedly beaten, deprived of food and sleep during interrogations, and held incommunicado for a full year.  On December 28, 2009, Wangchen was tried by the Chinese government in secret and sentenced to six years in prison.  He is currently serving time in the Xichuan Prison in Qinghai province.  Wangchen suffers from hepatitis.
A former businessman, Wangchen has a wife, four children, and elderly parents, all of whom he sent to live in India in the months prior to his filming and subsequent arrest.
We continue to follow closely the situations of those punished for peacefully expressing their political views, and we urge the Chinese government to respect the universal human rights of all Chinese citizens.
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