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UN rights experts concerned over China court ruling on 'incitement to separatism'

[JURIST] A group of UN human rights experts on Wednesday expressed concern [press release] that the Yushu Intermediate Court in China has upheld charges of "incitement to separatism" against Tashi Wangchuk.

Charges were brought against Wangchuk in January 2016 after the New York Times released a documentary titled "Tashi Wangchuk: A Tiebtian's Journey for Justice" [video]. The documentary focused on Tibetan struggles through cultural and language barriers due to legal enforcement by the Chinese government. Wangchuk took the opportunity to advocate for all Tibetans, which led to his arrest and detention under Chinese law. They argued that the video gave evidence of Wangchuk's intentions to "attack the Chinese Government," "destroy the ethnic culture," "conspire to undermine ethnic unity, the unification of the country, and the political and social stability of the Tibetan areas" and to "demonize China's international image on the world stage."

UN human rights experts reminded Chinese authorities of the rights of minorities to use and promote their culture freely stating, "We condemn the continued detention of Mr. Wangchuk and the criminalization of his freedom of expression as well as his right to stand and speak up for what he perceives as human rights violations in his region and country." The experts encouraged Wangchuk's release and urged the Chinese government to compensate him in all ways legally applicable.

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