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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Masked hoodlums rough up Tibetan language right activist in Qinghai province

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug22’23) – Apparently for continuing his activism even after release from prison, well-known Tibetan language right advocate Mr Tashi Wangchuk was attacked and roughed up by a group of masked hoodlums in Darlag (Chinese: Dari) County of Golog (Guoluo) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, early in the night of Aug 19. He was also ejected from the hotel where he was staying while being turned away from other hotels in the area, reported London-based Tibetan rights monitoring and advocacy group Free Tibet, Aug 21.

Narrating the sequences of events, the report cited local sources as saying Tashi Wangchuk went to Darlag County in the evening of Aug 19 with the aim to raise awareness about the disappearance of the Tibetan language from schools in favour of Chinese. He also filmed a video near Darlag County Nationality Middle School and posted the footage on the Chinese social media platform Douyin.

Then at around 8pm, a group of masked men, who apparently followed him from the school, forced open his hotel room door and kept beating and kicking him for around ten minutes. At the end of it, the hotel owner, on being informed, called the police who took away Tashi Wangchuk at around 9pm, holding him at police station until about 11.30pm.

After that he returned to his hotel, only to be kicked out of there and being refused entry in several other hotels in the area he visited.

Tashi Wangchuk then went to the Darlag County Hospital, seeking a check-up on his injured head, only to be informed by the concerned doctor there the CT scanner was broken.

Tashi Wangchuk therefore spent the night on a stool on the first floor of the hospital, writing a detailed account of the day’s events, including his beating and what he saw as “crime by gangs and illegal acts by government officials who break the law and cover for each other,” the Free Tibet report said.

Tashi Wangchuk, a resident of Kyegudo County in Yulshul (Yushu) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, came to international prominence after speaking to the New York Times in 2015 about his efforts to file a lawsuit against local authorities after local Tibetan classes were shut down. He also expressed fear for the future of Tibet’s language and culture.

For his activism and the New York Times interview, China arrested Tashi Wangchuk in Jan 2016, torturing and then jailing him for five years for “inciting separatism”.

Released after completing his sentence in Jan 2021, Tashi Wangchuk continued his advocacy for Tibetan language and cultural rights despite being under police surveillance.


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