EU urges China to ensure released Tibetan rights activist’s freedom, investigation of his mistreatment

Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan entrepreneur and education advocate. (Photo courtesy: NYT)

(, Feb01’21) – Amid concern that Tibetan language right activist Tashi Wangchuk, though out of jail after completing his 5-year-jail sentence for alleged separatism, was still not free, the European Union (EU) has on Jan 29 called on China to render his release unconditional.

A statement issued by the Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU called on “the Chinese authorities to ensure that Mr Wangchuk’s release is unconditional and that he is able to enjoy his fundamental freedoms, including freedom of movement and residence.”

It also urged China to “conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of mistreatment, torture and abuses on Mr Wangchuk while in detention.”

The statement also broadened its call by urging China to free all others who had been held for exercising their rights and freedoms.

“The EU calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently imprisoned in connection with the exercise of their rights and fundamental freedoms. Those in detention have a right to a fair trial and due process, and to decent treatment, free from torture and ill-treatment while in prison. The European Union will continue to engage with China on human rights issues.”

China arrested Tashi Wangchuk, now 35, in Jan 2016 for appealing to authorities in Beijing to respect the county’s constitution and laws on the protection of minority languages in education and other spheres. 

His defence of his activism in a New York Times documentary was majorly cited for his prosecution in his Jan 2018 trial in which a court in Yulshul (Chinese: Yushu) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, convicted him for “incitement of separatism”.

Apart from his lawyer’s tweet, there has been no information about Tashi Wangchuk and no one appears to have been able to contact him at the home of his sister who has apparently been made responsible for his custody and conduct.


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