02, Jan 2018
The New York Times reported that Tashi Wangchuk, who pushes for expanded Tibetan language education, will go on trial this week for “inciting separatism,” which could lead to 15 years’ imprisonment, according to his lawyers.Human rights backers and Tibet advocacy bodies have decried Tashi’s trial. The Times said Tashi has been detained for almost two years, having been taken from his home in January 2016. According to the Times, typically, Communist Party officials determine the results of political trials in China, with the accused individual nearly always convicted and imprisoned. The Times reported that one of Tashi’s lawyers, Liang Xiaojun, said in a previous interview that police in Yushu, where Tashi is detained, were particularly enraged because of Tashi’s interviews on the Tibetan language with the Times for a video and story published in November 2016. However, the Times noted that Tashi told its reporters that he did not back Tibet’s independence or separatism, but was urging for the Tibetan language to be employed in government offices and be properly taught in local schools, where Chinese language education takes precedence. The Times noted that many Tibetans are aggrieved over being ruled by China’s Communist Party, and that since 2009, at least 160 of them have “self-immolated,” seemingly in protest of the party.