Tibetan documentary filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen has been freed from prison. In 2008, he was jailed in China for "inciting separatism" and "subversion." His crime: shooting "Leaving Fear Behind," a documentary about the life of Tibetans under Chinese rule.
From the Committee to Protect Journalists:
Wangchen was released from prison in Qinghai's provincial capital, Xining, today, but faces an unspecified term of deprivation of political rights, according to Wangpo Tethong, a member of the Switzerland-based Tibetan film company Filming for Tibet who spoke to CPJ.
From Voice of America:
Dhondup Wangchen's assistant, Golog Jigme, recently arrived in Dharamsala, India after an epic escape from China that involved walking through some of the highest and most rugged land in the world.
Speaking from Switzerland, his cousin Jamyang Tsultrim told VOA's Tibetan service the filmmaker suffered in prison because of kidney problems.
"I asked him how his health was and he said that he wasn’t doing that well and that his immediate concern is to be able to see his parents and reunite with his wife and children," said Jamyang.
His wife, Lhamo Tso, who now lives in the western U.S. city of San Francisco, said she was left speechless when she heard her husband's voice on the phone Thursday.
"My children and I, and my husband’s parents, have waited and worried all these years. But when I was able to talk to my husband this morning, I couldn’t say anything but cry," said Lhamo.