Activist sentenced to five years in prison for promoting Tibetan language

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China detained Tashi Wangchuk in 2016 over his campaign to teach the Tibetan language in local schools

An activist who campaigned for Tibetan language education has been sentenced to five years in prison in China for “inciting separatism.” Tashi Wangchuk, who has been in jail for more than two years, was found guilty by a court in the western Chinese city of Yushu, according to his lawyers.

Tashi was detained in 2016 after appearing in a New York Times documentary talking about his campaign for Tibetan language in local schools. The video, “A Tibetan’s Journey for Justice,” followed Tashi as he travelled from a Tibetan area of Qinghai province to Beijing where he attempted to file a lawsuit against local officials for contravening China’s constitution, which maintains that all ethnicities in China “have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages”.

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