News

Yesterday at the UN, the US government mentioned Dhondup Wangchen and expressed their deep concern to his ongoing detention. We’ve been in touch with Lhamo Tso per Skype to tell her this good news. Lhamo Tso reacted very emotionally and thanked everyone for their efforts to release her beloved husband.

Join the actions TOMORROW for Dhondup’s safe return to Lhamo Tso and their children!

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U.S. Intervention at the Adoption of the UPR Working Group Report for China
25th Session of the Human Rights Council
https://geneva.usmission.gov/2014/03/20/u-s-statement-on-adoption-of-the-upr-wg-report-on-china/

As Delivered by Paula Schriefer
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs

March 19, 2014

The United States welcomes the return of the delegation from the People’s Republic of China to the Council and appreciates the opportunity to comment on the final Working Group report form China’s Universal Periodic Review.

We welcome China’s acceptance of recommendations related to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. We urge China to ratify this important human rights convention. We note that China has announced the abolition of the Reeducation Through Labor system, and we urge China to end all forms of arbitrary detention.

We note that China accepted recommendations calling for the protection of the rights of members of ethnic minority groups. We are deeply concerned, however, by government policies in ethnic Uighur, Tibetan, and Mongolian areas of China that have contributed to unrest as well as the ongoing detention of activists Ilham Tohti, Dhondup Wangchen, and Hada.

We are disappointed that China did not accept UPR recommendations related to protecting the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression including on the Internet. We remain very concerned by the detention of activist Xu Zhiyong, lawyer Gao Zhisheng, Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, as well as the house arrest of his wife Liu Xia.

Finally, we are concerned that China refuses to cooperate with – and in some cases, impedes – civil society in the UPR process. We note with profound sadness the recent death of Cao Shunli, a civil society leader who sought to engage the Chinese government on these issues and was detained for her efforts. Thank you.

San Francisco, October 9, 2013 – Lhamo Tso and actor Peter Coyote were not received by Consul Yuan Nansheng today. The Chinese Consulate did not answer the doorbell despite letting in at least two other people around that time.

Lhamo Tso and Peter Coyote had no choice but to drop the envelope for Dhondup Wangchen with birthday cards from the children and pictures in the letterbox of the Chinese Consulate. Lhamo Tso and Peter Coyote then held a press conference outside the Consulate to explain why they were taking action on the occasion of Dhondup Wangchen’s upcoming birthday on October 17.

Lhamo Tso: “I’m disappointed that the Chinese Consulate would not receive us today and that my husband Dhondup Wangchen will have to spend another birthday alone in prison, far away from his family. It would have meant a lot to him to receive the cards and letters from his children who miss him a great deal. At this time, I’d like to thank Peter Coyote for his support and help today and also the many people around the world who have expressed solidarity with Dhondup Wangchen.”

Photo Download:
1. Lhamo Tso showing picture of her children
2. Lhamo Tso and Peter Coyote in front of the Chinese Consulate

Contact:
Mrs. Lhamo Tso, 510-681-3244 (ONLY TIBETAN)
Mr. Peter Coyote, c/o Elizabeth Ross,  Assistant to Peter Coyote,  415-385-9908
Ms. Tenzin Tselha, Students for a Free Tibet, 510-289-5691
Mr. Giovanni Vassallo, Bay Area Friends of Tibet, 415-264-3264

Lhamo Tso showing pictures of her children. Chinese Consulate in San Francisco (photo: Filming for Tibet)

San Francisco, October 9, 2013 – Lhamo Tso and actor Peter Coyote were not received by Consul Yuan Nansheng today. The Chinese Consulate did not answer the doorbell despite letting in at least two other people around that time.

Lhamo Tso and Peter Coyote had no choice but to drop the envelope for Dhondup Wangchen with birthday cards from the children and pictures in the letterbox of the Chinese Consulate. Lhamo Tso and Peter Coyote then held a press conference outside the Consulate to explain why they were taking action on the occasion of Dhondup Wangchen’s upcoming birthday on October 17.

Lhamo Tso: “I’m disappointed that the Chinese Consulate would not receive us today and that my husband Dhondup Wangchen will have to spend another birthday alone in prison, far away from his family. It would have meant a lot to him to receive the cards and letters from his children who miss him a great deal. At this time, I’d like to thank Peter Coyote for his support and help today and also the many people around the world who have expressed solidarity with Dhondup Wangchen.”

Wife of Imprisoned Tibetan Filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, Supported by Actor Peter Coyote, Demands Safe Return for her Husband

PRESS RELEASE (International Version)

Photo Download:
1. Lhamo Tso showing picture of her children
2. Lhamo Tso and Peter Coyote in front of the Chinese Consulate

Contact:
Mrs. Lhamo Tso, 510-681-3244 (ONLY TIBETAN)
Mr. Peter Coyote, c/o Elizabeth Ross,  Assistant to Peter Coyote,  415-385-9908
Ms. Tenzin Tselha, Students for a Free Tibet, 510-289-5691
Mr. Giovanni Vassallo, Bay Area Friends of Tibet, 415-264-3264

(San Francisco) 9 October 2013 – Lhamo Tso, wife of filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, accompanied by actor Mr. Peter Coyote, will go to the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco today to handover letters and pictures for her husband who is in a prison in China and whose birthday is on October 17.

Mr. Coyote said that he was told about the case of Dhondup recently and decided to accompany and support Lhamo Tso in her struggle to reunite her family:  “It is hard to imagine a great country like China, threatened by a documentary film maker. Keeping him imprisoned can only make the world suspect that he must have been telling inconvenient truths. Even if that were the case, are we to believe that China would so publicly disdain the human right of free expression by keeping Dhondup Wangchen behind bars for a movie?”

Lhamo Tso said: «The reason for my growing worry is an observation that is shared by many people: In the past few months a wave of releases of Tibetan writers and activists has taken place. The health conditions of all the released men were deplorable. I urge all people to help me to bring the father of my children back.”

Lhamo Tso, who has been invited by various groups from all over the world to speak about her husband, now lives in San Francisco. Her four children are in India, in an exile-Tibetan orphanage and are expected to join her as soon as possible. The Bay Area Friends of Tibet helped Lhamo Tso to settle in San Francisco

Dhondup Wangchen’s case is known internationally. He was awarded by different groups for his courageous documentary. The self-taught camera man and film maker travelled across Tibet with his assistant Golog Jigme in 2007/2008. His film “Leaving Fear Behind” (28 min.) was translated in a dozen languages and screened in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Download PDF

Letter of Lhamo Tso to Consul Yuan Nansheng 
Letters of the children to their father Dhondup Wangchen
Letter I of Lhamo Tso to her husband (Tibetan)
Letter II of Lhamo Tso to her husband (English, Tibetan, Chinese) send earlier in 2013
Background on releases of political prisoners.

 

 

San Francisco, Zurich:  Lhamo Tso, wife of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, accompanied by actor Mr. Peter Coyote, will go to the Chinese Consulate to hand over letters and pictures for her husband who is in a prison in China and whose birthday is on October 17. Peter Coyote supports the demand for a safe return of Dhondup Wangchen.

Dhondup Wangchen is nearing the end of a six-year prison sentence in China for “inciting separatism”. Dhondup Wangchen suffers from Hepatitis B and has not received the medical treatment he needs. 

Dhondup Wangchen’s case is known internationally. He was awarded by various organizations for his courageous documentary. The self-taught camera man and filmmaker travelled across Tibet with his assistant Golog Jigme in 2007/2008. His film “Leaving Fear Behind” (28 min.) was translated into many languages and has been screened in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Lhamo Tso with Chen Guangcheng

Lhamo Tso was  first in Los Angeles (26 May) and then New York (1 June) to accept an award for Dhondup from  Visual Artists Guild.  Visual Artists Guild  (VAG) is an organisation based in the US. It holds the belief that the right of freedom of expression is the lifeblood of all artists. Its mission is to bring to the world attention whenever such a right is threatened or suppressed.

Chen Guangcheng, the blind dissident lawyer, (picture above) was the keynote speaker at the New York Event.

Read here Lhamo Tso’s acceptance speech: Huffington Post Article, by Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia Programm Coordinator

Lhamo Tso, wife of Dhondup Wangchen, launches campaign for Jigme Gyatso

Filming for Tibet information has collected, with the help of Lhamo Tso, information about Tibetan monk Jigme Gyatso (aka “Golog Jigme”) that clearly indicate the charges against him of manslaughter are baseless. Lhamo Tso, an old friend of Jigme Gyatso, is appealing to the US government and governments around the world to request the officials in China to stop the manhunt.

Since the surprising charges against Jigme Gyatso first appeared, Filming for Tibet has tried to shed light on the case and started research into the matter. The findings of this research are as follows:

1. Over the past weeks and months, individual reports appeared on Facebook by Westerners living in China and Tibetans who know Jigme Gyatso that protest against the idea of manslaughter. Filming for Tibet representatives have met with several of these voices in person and have been reassured that the background for the PSB search are baseless and motivated by other, unknown, reasons.

2. There has been a systematic outreach by Filming for Tibet to reliable sources in Tibet who say:

a. There has been no case of manslaughter whatsoever that can be brought in a connection with Jigme Gyatso
b. His whole personality is against violence. It is unthinkable that he could bring harm to any person.
c. Repeatedly, the opinion was voiced that Jigme Gyatso’s political and social activism might be the real reason for the arrest and the harsh statements following his disappearance/flight from the PSB. See the photos below for his involvement with relief work after the earthquake in eastern Tibet in 2010.

3. There have been a series a phone call to PSB in Gansu. Analysis of the recordings of the phone calls show that the PSB official are embarrassed by their initial charges and show no signs of confidence in the reason for their search campaign. Repeated requests to repeat the charges are met with either complete silence ( Video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=384667598286240 ) or evasive statements such as claiming not to be able to hear well or not understanding the other person ( Video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151152729405423 )

Lhamo Tso, wife of Dhondup Wangchen, has been friends with Jigme Gyatso for more then 16 years. Currently in the US, Lhamo Tso is carrying out advocacy work and appealing to the US Secretary of State to take action to ensure the safety of Jigme Gyatso. In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry dated January 25, 2013, Lhamo Tso wrote: “Today, I write to you requesting your support for Jigme Gyatso, also known as Golog Jigme, a man who is very dear to my family. Jigme Gyatso is a Tibetan monk and an old friend of mine who helped my husband to realise the film […] Together with friends and supporters of my husband, I am trying to find ways to help him. I am convinced that if foreign governments inquire about his case, some level of protection will be provided to him. Therefore, I request the US government to approach the Chinese government and ask them about the case of Jigme Gyatso.”

Contacts:
Lhamo Tso, +1-510-681-3244, (Tibetan)
EMail: media[at]leavingfearbehind.com

Wangpo Tethong
“Filming for Tibet” spokesperson, +41 787 44 3010 (English, German, Tibetan)
EMail: media[at]leavingfearbehind.com

Dechen Pemba, “Filming for Tibet” spokesperson, +44 20 3286 7681 (English)
EMail: media[at]leavingfearbehind.com

Zurich, January 21, 2013: In an unusual move, it has been learned by Filming for Tibet that filmmaker and political prisoner Dhondup Wangchen has been transferred from Xichuan labour camp to Qinghai Provincial Women’s Prison, the main prison for women in China’s Qinghai province [1].

Following a visit to Dhondup Wangchen by close family members on January 15, 2013, Dhondup Wangchen spoke of previous harsh treatment at Xichuan labour camp, including several months of solitary confinement that started in March 2012. Although being held in improved conditions, Dhondup Wangchen and his family are unaware of the reasons for his transfer, particularly to a women’s prison with no other Tibetan inmates or political prisoners.

“Although we are relieved to hear that Dhondup Wangchen is in stable health, we share Dhondup Wangchen’s own concerns as he says he feels isolated and alone in this prison,” said Gyaljong Tsetrin, cousin of Dhondup Wangchen and President of “Filming for Tibet”. “There is still well over a year until Dhondup Wangchen will have served his 6 year sentence for making ‘Leaving Fear Behind’, it is our wish that in this time Dhondup Wangchen suffer no maltreatment and be granted access to books so that he can study, something he has repeatedly requested but has been forbidden from doing,” continued Tsetrin.

Around the world, individuals and groups have built a growing coalition for Dhondup Wangchen. In 2012, US based Committee to Protect Journalists awarded Dhondup Wangchen for his work and groups such as Amnesty International intensified campaign efforts. In the past, many Tibetan prisoners have been maltreated before release which leads to severe health problems. Dhondup Wangchen’s family hopes international awareness will prevent such problems and lead to his secure release.

Notes:
1. The details of the prison are Qinghai Provincial Women’s Prison: 青海省女子监狱:青海省西宁市城中区南山路40号,邮政编码 810000. The photo below shows the location on Google Earth.

Press Contacts:
Gyaljong Tsetrin, President of “Filming for Tibet” and close friend of Jigme Gyatso, +41764626768 (Tibetan & Chinese)
Dechen Pemba, “Filming for Tibet” spokesperson, +44 20 3286 7681 (English)

EMail: media[at]leavingfearbehind.com

Help Save Golog Jigme!

November 30, 2012

Use the Chinese text template for texting Public Security Bureau (PSB) in Gansu.

1. 我们不信安全厅的宣传。果洛久美自由!We don’t believe PSB propaganda. Free  Golog Jigme!
2. 释放果洛久美 Release Golog Jigme
3. 果洛久美自由 Free Golog Jigme
4. 果洛久美在哪里? Where is Golog Jigme?
5. 停止谎言! 果洛久美自由 ! Stop the lies! Free Golog Jigme!

Public security bureau (PSB) phone numbers in Gansu:

text => +86 13519629133, +86 13519658733
call=> +86 9318535111, +86 9318535115

You do not need to speak Chinese to do a phone call. Just mention Golog Jigme’s name, loudly!

If you want to say the sentences in Chinese, here’s how:

 This is how you say Release Golog Jigme in Chinese
Chinese characters: 释放果洛久美
Pinyin: Shìfàng guǒ luò jiǔměi

This is how to Say “Free Golog Jigme” in Chinese
Chinese characters: 果洛久美自由
Pinyin: Guǒluò jiǔměi zìyóu

This is how to say “We don’t believe PSB propaganda. Free Golog Jigme!” in Chinese”
Chinese characters: 我们不信安全厅的宣传。果洛久美自由。
Pinyin: Wǒmen bùxìn ānquán tīng de xuānchuán. Guǒ luò jiǔměi zìyóu

Here are a couple of videos showing you what happens when you call!

Filming for Tibet Contests the Official Arrest Order for Jigme Gyatso, Missing Since September 2012

Zurich, November 30, 2012: There are growing concerns for the safety of Jigme Gyatso (aka Golog Jigme), the Tibetan monk who assisted Dhondup Wangchen in making the 2008 documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind”. Jigme Gyatso has been missing since September 20, 2012 and since November 27, 2012, text messages have been sent out by Public Security Department of Gansu Province officially ordering his arrest [1].

Filming For Tibet has called the Public Security Bureau in China’s Gansu province (for details and phone numbers, see below) and demanded full disclosure of all facts about Jigme Gyatso’s disappearance. Filming for Tibet asserts that the PSB’s unsubstantiated charges clearly reveal their intention to destroy Jigme Gyatso’s good reputation as a social and cultural activist, highly respected for his work in the community.

The text messages claim that Jigme Gyatso is “suspected of committing voluntary manslaughter”, a charge that his Zurich-based close friend Gyaljong Tsetrin strongly contests. “There can be no basis for this charge of manslaughter. Jigme Gyatso is a Tibetan monk who has always firmly believed in non-violence,” said Gyaljong Tsetrin. “In fact, the Chinese government often hands down politically motivated trumped-up charges to Tibetans. Innocent Tibetans such as Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Karma Samdrup and Lobsang Tenzin are all languishing in prison even to this today so I’m extremely fearful for Jigme Gyatso’s current safety and well-being. [2]”

The charges conflict with and contradict the PSB’s own activities and measures against Jigme Gyatso. Since 2008 Jigme Gyatso has been under the constant surveillance and control of the PSB. He has been repeatedly called in, interrogated and just recently his living quarters were destroyed, marking a new level of harassment. It is up to the PSB to explain how a man under such strict controls could have committed an action such as the one he is being charged with.

Jigme Gyatso assisted Dhondup Wangchen in making “Leaving Fear Behind” and for many years has been a cultural and social activist in Tibet, committed to transmitting Tibetan language and culture to the younger generation [3]. When a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck the county of Yushu in Kham on April 14, 2010, Jigme Gyatso rushed to the area to help coordinate relief work and spent more than ten days there [4].

Filming for Tibet calls on governments to confront the Chinese authorities with the facts about Jigme Gyatso’s disappearance and demand independent legal support for Jigme Gyatso. Meanwhile, Filming for Tibet continues to and motivates its friends to call the PSB on the phone numbers in the official order and demand a stop to the witch hunt for Jigme Gyatso.

Press Contacts:
Gyaljong Tsetrin, President of “Filming for Tibet” and close friend of Jigme Gyatso, +41764626768 (Tibetan & Chinese)
Dechen Pemba, “Filming for Tibet” spokesperson, +44 20 3286 7681 (English)

Notes:
[1] Below is a screenshot of the text message being sent by the Public Security Department of Gansu Province and English translation:

[Source: https://twitter.com/MyYak/status/273811569719246848/photo/1/large]

Order for Arrest: Golog Jigme, with the lay name Lotra and also known as Jigme Lobsang, male, Tibetan, from Kardzé Prefecture of Sichuan Province. He is a monk in Labrang Monastery, and his ID No. is 513333196502121616. He is suspected of committing voluntary manslaughter, and now we are issuing the order for his arrest. Meanwhile, we will award any unit who is able to capture Golog Jigme or any individual who provides clues for his whereabouts will be awarded 200,000 Yuan.
The phone numbers to notify the authorities are: 13519629133, 13519658733, 09318535111, 09318535115.
The Public Security Department of Gansu Province

[2]
- Tenzin Delek Rinpoche , a lama and social activist in eastern Tibet, was handed a death sentence that was later commuted to a life sentence in 2003. Amongst the trumped up charges against him was “conspiring to cause a series of explosions”.
- Karma Samdrup, a wealthy philanthropist, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2010 on charges of “excavating ancient cultural relics and tombs”.
- Lobsang Tenzin, s student, was handed a death sentence in 1988 that was later commuted to 20 years in prison. He was charged as “principal culprit” in a murder charge during a protest in Lhasa.

[3] Photo showing Jigme Gyatso with his young students. Jigme Gyatso often taught young Tibetans about language and culture and is a much-loved and respected teacher. (Photo credit: Filming for Tibet)

[4] After the huge earthquake that struck Yushu in Kham in April 2010, Jigme Gyatso (sitting in the centre) rushed to the area and tirelessly coordinated relief work. (Photo credit: Filming for Tibet)