Colourful protests mark one-year anniversary of language advocate's detention

Tashi Wangchuk Vigil
30th January 2017

If found guilty Tashi Wangchuk could serve many years in prison for ‘splittism’ having been detained one year ago after interview with New York Times   

Dozens of people joined ranks to highlight their anger at the continued detention of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk outside the Chinese embassy in London on Friday 27 January.

Solidarity protests were also staged in New York and Dharamsala (the home of Tibetan Government in Exile in northern India) to mark the first anniversary of the 31-year-old's detention.

Holding banners proclaiming their support for the cultural activist exiled Tibetans and Tibetan campaigners called for Tashi Wangchuk's immediate release.

Tashi Wangchuk Vigil

Protests in London, New York and Dharamsala

Tashi Wangchuk was detained on 27 January 2016 and later charged with "splittism." His arrest came shortly after he featured in a New York Times article and video about the loss of Tibetan language.

Tashi Wangchuk could stand trial at any time following the completion of a rare second review of his case by prosecutors. He faces up to 15 years in prison if he is found guilty. According to figures generated by the Chinese Supreme People’s Court, the country's conviction rate runs at around 99.9percent.

Demonstrators at the embassy action had come from across the UK including Glasgow, Oxford and London.

Sipping warm, butter tea one elder Tibetan at the event commented: "The Tibetan language is the culture, if you get rid of the language then the culture follows."

Free Tibet Campaign Director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren urged supporters to maintain the campaign for justice for Tibet's political prisoners and joined protesters in chanting: "Bhod Gyalo!" (Tibetan: Free Tibet!).

Take Action Tashi Wangchuk

Tashi Wangchuk's situation is urgent. Contact your ambassador to China asking them to raise his case with the authorities.