Int’l rights coalition presents its 2019 courage award to formerly jailed Tibetan filmmaker

Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen receives the prestigious Courage Award from the Chinese dissident and former political prisoner Yang Jianli on Mar 27. (Photo courtesy: Geneva Summit)

(, Mar29’19) – Geneva Summit, a coalition of 25 human rights organizations, has on Mar 27 presented its 2019 Courage Award to amateur Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, a former political prisoner in Chinese ruled Tibet. The coalition has chosen the Tibetan for the award “for inspiring the world with his extraordinary courage in the defense of freedom, democracy, and universal human rights.”

China jailed Dhondup Wangchen for six years for filming interviews with ordinary Tibetans from across Tibet on their life under Chinese rule and sending the footage abroad. He was convicted for “inciting subversion”. The film was shot just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a documentary titled “Leaving Fear Behind” was made from it.

In his remark Dhondup Wangchen has thanked the international community whose support gave him courage and enabled him to make it through his ordeal. He has appealed for continued support for the Tibetan struggle.

The awarded presentation was made by Mr Yang Jianli, an exiled 1989 Tiananmen Square activist and President of Initiative for China, at the coalition’s 11th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

The award’s previous recipients have included exiled Chinese legal activist Chen Guangchen, jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, leading Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, and Venezuelan opposition leader Antonio Ledezma.


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