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Exile Tibetans call for jailed filmmaker's release

August 3, 2009

Phayul[Saturday, August 01, 2009 06:54]

Dharamshala, August 1 ? With the growing concerns over jailed Tibetan
filmmaker?s health Tibetans and supporters around the world are carrying
out various campaign for his release. Sources in Xining, the provincial
capital of Qinghai, where Dhondup is held, say that his case may be
heard today.

Tibetans and supporters Friday joined a day long campaign organized by
five major Tibetan NGOs for Dhondup?s release. Dhondup was charged with
?inciting separatism.?

Dhondup was arrested in March 2008 by Chinese authorities for making the
film 'Leaving Fear Behind' which documents Tibetans? views about the
Beijing Olympics, the Dalai Lama, and Chinese government?s policies in
Tibet. ?His Beijing based lawyer hired by his family was barred from
representing him and he is in very poor health after being beaten and
tortured in prison,? said a statement by the 5 Tibetan NGOs.

Lhamo Tso, Dhondup Wangchen's wife, who resides in Dharamshala with her
4 children, said her husband is not a criminal. ?None of our family
members has been allowed to speak to him since his arrest. My husband is
an innocent man but the Chinese government is trying to silence him for
exercising his right to freedom of Expression. I urge the international
community to take action for my husband's release.?

Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association, GuChuSum Movement
of Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a free
Tibet carried out a signature campaign at the McLoed Ganj town?s main
square for a petition to be submitted to the Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh urging him to ?pressurize Beijing for immediate and
unconditional release of Dhondup Wangchen.

A Candle light vigil was held in the evening at the Main Temple where
the representatives of the organizing groups spoke. Dhonsup?s wife also
spoke to the gathering. Dhondup?s film was screened for the public after
the function.

?We denounce Beijing's attempt to unfairly persecute Dhondup Wangchen
with no independent legal representation of him and his family's choice.
We demand an immediate and unconditional release of Dhondup Wangchen and
all prisoners of conscience in Tibet?, said Tsewang Rigzin, President of
Tibetan Youth Congress.

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