Former political prisoner interrogated for advocating for Tibetan language
Tashi Wangchuk subjected to nearly three hours of interrogation following his renewed call for the preservation of the Tibetan language
On 12 January 2022, Tashi Wangchuk approached government offices in Yushu City in Qinghai Province to call for the preservation of the Tibetan language. This led to him being summoned for an interrogation session at the Public Security Bureau of Yushu on 17 January, which lasted for nearly three hours.
Tashi Wangchuk published a note on his Weibo account detailing his activism and narrated the events leading up to the police interrogation.
In his online post, Tashi detailed that he went to the office of the mayor and the Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, urging them to strengthen the use of the Tibetan language. However, upon arriving at the office, he was stopped by the Chinese officials at the entrance. Despite explaining his intention to secure a meeting, the officials had told Tashi that he “was warned not to do what is not allowed to do”, he reported in his Weibo post.
CONTINUED ADVOCACY OF THE TIBETAN LANGUAGE
Adding further details, Tashi explained that the officials asked him, “what is your responsibility? Is this your responsibility to advocate for the Tibetan Language?” Tashi responded, saying that “the minority language like the Tibetan language is disappearing and that is why I am very concerned about this.”
Li Qilei, his former lawyer based in Beijing, spoke to Tibet Watch and said that Tashi had contacted him and told him about his advocacy in Yushu. Li had also advised him to be ‘rational’ in his work to avoid facing further charges by the Chinese authorities for ‘stability maintenance’ reasons, a Chinese Communist Party jargon routinely used against its citizens from criticising the state.
However, Li noted Tashi Wangchuk’s strong resolve to advocate for the Tibetan language, stating he wishes to continue to promote the Tibetan language as is guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.
Conscious of the example Tashi was setting despite risks to his safety, Li said, “Tibetan brothers and sisters will get admiration and inspiration from him.”
Information supplied by Tibet Watch