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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

A Tibetan AIDS activist disappears in Tibet

October 10, 2008

Press Release
October 9, 2008

The whereabouts of Tibetan HIV/AIDS activist, Wangdue (one name
only), remains unknown to his family members since he was arbitrarily
detained by the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials
from his home on 14 March 2008 in Lhasa, according to confirmed
information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and
Democracy (TCHRD).

Wangdue, now in his early 40s was born in Taktse County (Ch:
Daxi/Dagze Xian), Lhasa Municipality, "Tibet Autonomous Region"
("TAR"). He is a former political prisoner initially arrested for his
involvement in the March 1989 protest in Lhasa and was later
sentenced to three years to "Re-education through Labour" in Sangyip
Prison, otherwise known as "TAR" PSB Detention Centre. His prison
sentence was further increased by four years by the Lhasa City
Intermediate People's Court for his involvement in a protest in
Sangyip, and he was later transferred to the notorious Drapchi Prison
in Lhasa where he completed his remaining prison term. Following his
release in 1995, Wangdue studied English language besides working in Lhasa.

Wangdue later came in contact with a foreign NGO working on an
HIV/AIDS awareness program in Lhasa City and worked to create
HIV/AIDS awareness in various brothels around Lhasa city, in schools
in neighboring counties and towns, and organized talk series in
various nightclubs mushrooming in the holy city. The NGO also
published and printed numerous education booklets, posters and
pamphlets on HIV/AIDS awareness in Tibetan and Chinese language for
free distribution to educate the general public on the deadly disease
which is gradually gaining ground in Tibet. Due to their success,
numerous schools, government offices including the "TAR" Police
Academy invited the NGO to give lecture on the HIV/AIDS awareness to
their students, staffs and recruits.

Like the Chinese democracy, environmental and AIDS activist, Hu Jia,
who has been nominated by the Nobel Committee for this year's Nobel
Peace Prize, Wangdue has been spearheading a noble community service
project in educating the masses about the HIV/AIDS in Tibet. Wangdue
who has disappeared since his arbitrary detention on 14 March,
deserves a similar respect and adulation from the international
community for his selfless community service and the international
community, should therefore, urgently press for his early release so
that he can continue with his noble mission of creating awareness on
HIV/AIDS, an epidemic which is gradually spreading at an alarming
rate in the Tibetan holy city of Lhasa and other neighboring towns and cities.

TCHRD expresses its deepest concern over the safety of Wangdue and
urgently calls upon the government of the People's Republic of China
(PRC) to ascertain his whereabouts and physical conditions. The
Centre appeals to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary
Disappearance (UNWGEID) to urgently issue intervention to locate him
and his current status.
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