Imprisoned filmmaker focus of international campaign
10 December is the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and has been celebrated as Human Rights Day since 1950. Today we remember all political prisoners in Tibet.
Tibet's prisoners of conscience
Countless thousands of Tibetans have been arrested, tortured and jailed since China's invasion. Hundreds are in prison right now, for crimes such as displaying the Tibetan flag, singing songs, resisting environmental destruction and opposing Chinese rule.
This year, Tibet supporters are marking human rights day with a special plea for filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen. In 2007 and 2008, Dhondup Wangchen filmed dozens of interviews with Tibetans expressing their thoughts on life under Chinese rule. Smuggled out of Tibet, the footage was turned into a powerful documentary, Leaving Fear Behind. Arrested and charged with subversion, he was sentenced to six years in prison in December 2009. It is now thought he will be released in 2014 but his family are gravely concerned about his health. He contracted hepatitis B in prison. Many political prisoners are released when their health is very poor so that the state doesn't have to bear the burden of their medical treatment, or so that they won't die in prison, embarrassing the authorities. Across the world, action is taking place today to seek his freedom and for his return on his release to his wife and family, who now live in New York.
Tibet's people suffer from repression because they seek freedom from Chinese occupation. After more than 60 years, they still reject China's right to control them and deny their Tibetan identity. China's response is to deny their freedom of expression and protest and to imprison torture and shoot them.
Urge world leaders to Break the Silence on Tibet.