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Tibetan Filmmaker to Be Tried for Subversion

Dhondup Wangchen (Photo courtesy of the NY Times)

Dhondup Wangchen (Photo courtesy of the New York Times)

According to a report on New York Times from Chongqing, China, a self-taught filmmaker who spent five months interviewing Tibetans about their hopes and frustrations living under Chinese rule is facing charges of state subversion after the footage was smuggled abroad and distributed on the Internet and at film festivals around the world.

Dhondup Wangchen, 35, has been detained since March 2008, just weeks after deadly rioting broke out in Tibet. Since October 2007, he began traveling the Tibetan plateau interviewing monks, yak herders and students about their lives. In the resulting 25-minute documentary “Leaving Fear Behind,” most of his subjects freely expressed their disdain for the Han Chinese migrants who are flooding the region and their love for the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile since 1959.

The report also mentions that, with hundreds of lawyers, dissidents and journalists serving time in Chinese prisons, human rights organizations are busy lobbying the White House, members of Congress and the news media to press the Chinese government on such thorny topics as free speech, democracy and greater religious freedom.

Here is a brief biography of Dhondup Wangchen by Tsetring Gyaljong, a cousin who helped him make the documentary, and a news clip about Mr. Wangchen and his project on ABC News.


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