"DHARAMSHALA, August 31: The Tibetan right activist for education rights, Tashi Wangchuk, arrested for of Tibetan language in schools across Tibet may face up to 15 years’ imprisonment on charges of inciting separatism, reports New York Times.
“Tashi’s case entered a new phase on Thursday, when the police concluded an additional investigation at the prosecutors’ request and handed over those results. Prosecutors now have about 90 days to decide whether the case should go to court,” said Liang Xiaojun, Tashi’s lawyer.
Conviction is almost certain if it goes to the court despite him having no record of any separatist movement because of the charge being ‘inciting separatism’, a serious felony in the Chinese government’s eyes.
The Tibetan entrepreneur was arrested on January 27 in Yushu County of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province. Tashi was the key subject of a NYT reportage including a short documentary on him, an ethnic Tibetan, pursuing legal resorts to urge the authorities to adopt bilingual education.
The documentary showed Tashi’s journey to Beijing and visiting Chinese media and people’s court to file a lawsuit calling for the implementation of Chinese legal provisions that guarantee rights to Tibetan language education.
Tashi was detained secretly for several weeks without the knowledge of his family, who were denied permission to meet him despite several attempts. Whereas, he was charged only on March 30 with ‘inciting separatism’ and his trial dates are yet to be confirmed.
He had earlier been detained twice for his attempt to go to India on a pilgrimage in 2012 and for posting comments condemning the authorities in a land grab case.
According to his lawyer, Tashi is doing fine in the prison. Liang also clarified that Tashi had no intention of inciting separatism or advocated Tibet’s independence. He was just trying to preserve Tibetan language and culture.
“He said that Tibet should stay under China with greater regional autonomy with regards to language use and education,” Liang told NYT in an interview.
Tashi sold goods to buyers across China on Taobao, an e-tailer run by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant. In 2014, Alibaba chose Tashi to be featured in a promotional video for the company’s investor roadshow."