Tashi Wangchuk, an innocent Tibetan shopkeeper and language advocate, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by Chinese authorities on false charges of ‘inciting separatism’.


HIS CRIME? Publicly seeking his right to Tibetan language education.

Tashi Wangchuk was released from prison on 28 JANUARY 2021 after serving FIVE years in Chinese detention despite having committed no crime.


  • Tashi Wangchuk is a Tibetan shopkeeper from Kyegundo, an area of Kham, Tibet


  • After Chinese authorities forced the closure of Tibetan language classes, Tashi tried to press for the provision of more Tibetan education.


  • In November 2015 the New York Times documented Tashi’s lawful attempt.


  • Two months later, on 27 January 2016, Tashi was detained, held in secret for almost two months and tortured by his captors.


  • After nearly two years in detention, Tashi Wangchuk was tried in a ‘closed door trial’ for “inciting separatism”, a politically motivated charge. Governments and journalists who attempted to attend the trial were denied entry.




How China Used a Times Documentary as Evidence Against Its Subject, Jonah Kessel, New York Times, 10 January 2018
Sham trial exposes absurd charge against Tibetan activist, Amnesty International, 4 January 2018
Tibetan Businessman Battles Separatism Charges in Chinese Court, New York Times, November 2017, 4 January 2018
– UN experts call for charges against Tashi Wangchuk to be dropped, February 2018
– Governments reiterated their call for Tashi Wangchuk’s release, including the United States, France, Canada, Germany, the EU, and UN human rights experts also condemned Tashi Wangchuk’s 5-year jail term, May 2018
– UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urge China “to remedy the situation of Mr Wangchuk without delay”, November 2017

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Learn Tibetan

Tashi Wangchuk has been given a five year prison sentence for simply asking to be taught in the Tibetan language. Show Solidarity for #FreeTashi – Learn these Tibetan phrases:

Tashi is Innocent


Tra shi la nak nyé mé

Free him now


Khong trel du lö dröl tong gö