For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area who would like to show support, here's a quick update on the case of imprisoned Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, who made the documentary "Leaving Fear Behind," which is embedded above. Wangchen and a collaborator who is a Tibetan monk are in prison in China for the crime of making this film. It documents the opinions of ordinary Tibetan people about China's communist government, and the exiled Dalai Lama, in the year leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They interviewed 108 Tibetan people; that number is a sacred number in Tibetan Buddhism.
From filmingfortibet.org and friends-of-tibet.org:
WHAT: Press Conference and Handover of Birthday letters and photos for her husband, Dhondup Wangchen who is in Chinese prison
WHERE: Consulate of the People's Republic of China in San Francisco
1450 Laguna, San Francisco, California,
WHEN: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 @ 11 AM – 1 PM
Lhamo Tso, wife of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, accompanied by actor Mr. Peter Coyote, will go to the Chinese Consulate to hand over letters and pictures for her husband who is in a prison in China and whose birthday is on October 17. Peter Coyote supports the demand for a safe return of Dhondup Wangchen.
Dhondup Wangchen is nearing the end of a six-year prison sentence in China for "inciting separatism" — simply because he dared to speak out about Tibetan human rights through his filmmaking. Dhondup Wangchen suffers from Hepatitis B and has not received the medical treatment he needs. It has been difficult to obtain reliable information about his condition. He is believed to have been transferred to Qinghai Provincial Women's Prison.
Dhondup Wangchen's case is known internationally. He was awarded by various organizations for his courageous documentary. The self-taught camera man and filmmaker travelled across Tibet with his assistant Golog Jigme in 2007/2008. His film "Leaving Fear Behind" (28 min.) was translated into a dozen languages and has been screened in more than 30 countries worldwide.
On Amnesty International's website, back in 2012, she wrote:
Attempts by Tibetans to secure their human rights are routinely crushed. Dhondup has been punished severely. He was tortured and held without charge for nearly a year, then sentenced in a secret trial to six years imprisonment for "inciting separatism." My husband has committed no crime. Dhondup suffers from Hepatitis B and was denied medical treatment. My sister in-law takes food and clothes to the prison every month, but it is extremely difficult to obtain reliable information about Dhondup's condition.
I met Lhamo Tso and heard her speak about her husband's case at the Santa Barbara Summit for Tibet earlier this year.
She and her husband are kind, forthright human beings who have done no wrong.
It would be great to see some Boing Boing readers show them some support in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Lhamo Tso, wife of incarcerated "Leaving Fear Behind" filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen. Santa Barbara Tibet Summit. #sftibet pic.twitter.com/kVLG5F2f
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) January 21, 2013