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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan Filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison

January 9, 2010

06 January 2010 - The Tibet Post

by Yangyal Sham

Dharamshala: Dhondup Wangchen, the famous Tibetan filmmaker who made the
documentary "Leaving Fear Behind", was sentenced to six years in prison at
the end of last month. His family members were depressed by the unfair
sentence, a Tibetan blog posted yesterday.

The Chinese Intermediate People's Court in Xining, the provincial capital of
so-called Qinghai province, on 28 December 2009 sentenced the 34 year-old
filmmaker, to 6 years in prison.

Dhondup Wangchen was detained on 26 March 2008, soon after completing
filming of the documentary 'Leaving Fear Behind.' The film collected the
opinions of 108 Tibetans on the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the current situation
in Tibet, and their hopes for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's

return to Tibet. Several other people involved with or appearing in the
documentary have also been investigated by the Chinese authorities.

Wangchen is reportedly suffering from hepatitis B, and is not receiving
proper treatment while in prison. Li Dunyong, a Chinese lawyer hired by the
family to defend Wangchen, was forced to drop the case. None of his family
members were informed of the sentence.

Wangchen's cousin, Jamyang Tsultrim, who fled Tibet in 2002 and received
political asylum in Switzerland, said that he was saddened by the unjust
sentence. "This sentence for Tibetan filmmaker by Chinese authorities is a
sign which reveals that the Tibetan people in Tibet have no freedom of
expression. No official documents relating to Dhondup Wangchen's arrest and
trial were provided to his family. Last year, even his Chinese lawyer was
denied access to his case. I was deeply saddened by this unfair sentence,"
he said.

Wangchen's wife, Lhamo Tso, is living with Wangchen's parents and four
children in the north Indian city of Dharamshala, the residence of exiled
Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other Tibetan refugees.
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