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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Cousin of jailed Tibetan filmmaker optimistic of case review

August 25, 2009

August 23, 2009

Dharamsala, August 23 -- A cousin of the jailed
Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen has said the
efforts of international rights groups and Tibet
supporters had a positive effect in postponing
the trial which many feared would take place at
the start of the month. Gyaljong Tsetrin,
Dhondup’s cousin who co-produced the film, said
the worldwide campaigns for Dhondup Wangchen had
culminated into the "coordinated EU initiative"

Meanwhile, Tibet Support Groups told Gyajong
Tsetrin that the EU Forum, a coordinating body of
EU governments, had discussed the case of Dhondup
Wangchen and agreed to launch a coordinated
effort to discuss the case with their Chinese counterparts.

Dhondup Wangchen, 35, was arrested in March 2008
for making the documentary, "Leaving Fear
Behind." There is an apparent fear among Tibetans
and activists alike that Dhondup Wangchen might
be sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment.
Dhondup’s film "leaving fear behind" documents
the Tibetan resentment against Chinese rule and
features interviews with Tibetans that sharply
criticize the Chinese government policies in Tibet.

Charged with "inciting separatism," Wangchen was
recently denied the right to be represented by
the lawyer chosen by his family. His wife, living
in Dharamsala, recently said she feared her
husband who suffers from hepatitis B is not given
proper medical care in the prison.

Amnesty International had earlier reported that
the prosecutor had submitted the case to the
court, and family members including his sister
had received a call to appear at the court on 1
August 2009. She went to the court but was surprisingly sent back.

Gyaljong Tsetrin said, "I am grateful to the EU
governments and hope that they continue to
maintain the pressure and keep an eye on the case
and actively engage the Chinese government in a
manner to guarantee Dhondup a fair trial."
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