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China sentences Tibetan activist

Beijing, May 22: A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence “unjust” and urging his immediate release. The main evidence against Tashi Wangchuk, who was sentenced by a court in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, was a 2015 video by the New York Times about his campaign for saving the Tibetan language, according to his lawyer. Before his arrest, the 31-year-old activist had expressed concern over the fact that many Tibetan children could not fluently speak their native language, contributing to the progressive extinction of the Tibetan culture. Rosenzweig claimed that Tashi Wangchuk “was a human rights defender and prisoner of conscience who used the media and China’s own legal system in his struggle to preserve Tibetan language, culture and identity”. In the New York Times video, the activist had highlighted “the extreme discrimination and restrictions on freedom of expression that Tibetans face in China today”. (IANS)