Tibet: Statement on the Release of Tibetan Language Rights Advocate Tashi Wangchuk

January 29, 2021

(Washington, D.C.)—Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement on Tashi Wangchuk (Wangchug), who was released yesterday after serving a five-year prison sentence for “inciting separatism” after advocating for Tibetans’ educational and language rights.

“Tashi Wangchuk was arbitrarily detained for five years simply for working to preserve Tibetan language and culture. He should never have spent a single day behind bars. We will be monitoring Tashi Wangchuk’s condition and call on Chinese authorities to ensure that he is fully free from all post-release restrictions. We continue to be greatly concerned by the Chinese government’s language policies and proposed legal changes to replace minority languages in favor of Mandarin in schools. We join with the call of 50 UN independent experts to hold the Chinese government accountable for its failures to uphold obligations to protect educational and cultural rights and its gross human rights abuses in Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and elsewhere.”

Additional case information on Tashi Wangchuk and other political prisoners can be found on the CECC’s Political Prisoner Database.