World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


5 April 2014 - Dhondup Wangchen, China

5 April 2014 - Dhondup Wangchen, China

Article ID:

17668

His Excellency
Mr. Xi Jinping
President of the Peoples’ Republic of China
Beijing
China


C/O The Chinese Ambassador to France,
Mr Zhai Jun
Email: chinaemb_fr@mfa.gov.cn

 

5 April 2014
 

We are writing as part of the global online campaign ’30 Days for Freedom’ to call for the release of Dhondup Wangchen, and all other journalists imprisoned in China for simply doing their job. 

Mr. Wangchen is currently serving a six-year sentence for his documentary film 'Leaving Fear Behind'. The 25-minute film gave voice to ordinary Tibetan people on a range of topics, from the Dalai Lama to the Chinese government, human rights abuses and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mr. Wangchen was arrested and charged with inciting Tibetan separatism shortly after completing the film.

Your Excellency, Mr. Wangchen is due to be released in June 2014, but his health is severely ailing from untreated hepatitis B that he contracted while in custody. We urge you to release him now so that he may have a chance of receiving the treatment that could save his life. Latest reports suggest Mr. Wangchen has been transferred to a labour camp in Qinghai Province, known to have particularly harsh conditions, after having spent six months in solitary confinement.

Your Excellency, we are appalled that 32 journalists are today imprisoned in China. The Chinese government has long maintained a tight grip on the media to prevent any threat of opposition or subversion, and journalists have frequently been targets for state oppression. We call on you to recognise the essential role of the media in holding the powerful to account for the benefit of a better society.

We therefore urge you to respect a free and independent press and to stop criminalising journalists. We call on you to free Dhondup Wangchen and all other journalists imprisoned in China.

 

Sincerely,

 

#FreethePress

The 30 Days for Freedom campaign

 


Organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, the ‘30 Days for Freedom’ campaign aims to highlight the plight of imprisoned journalists worldwide in the 30 days leading up to 3 May, World Press Freedom Day.

 

www.wan-ifra.org / www.worldpressfreedomday.org

Author

Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop

Date

2014-04-05 11:54

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