German Parliamentarians Calls for Release of Jailed Tibetan Filmmaker

Dhondup Wangchen

A group of German parliamentarians have called for the release of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for making a documentary in which ordinary Tibetans praised the Dalai Lama.

The Interparty Group on Tibet in the German parliament issued a statement in Berlin where Wangchen's wife Lhamo Tso is currently on a visit as part of her Europe tour to garner support for Wangchen's release.

Liberal MP Harald Leibrecht urged China to release Dhondup Wangchen in the statement and said "He is in prison, simply because he peacefully expressed his opinion. Freedom of speech and openness are crucial for a democratic development in China, as for a peaceful solution to the issue of Tibet.”

“Dhondup Wangchen’s case is symbolic for the repression that the Tibetan civil society is facing. The international community must not watch in silence, but have clear words about this,” added Green Party MP Manuel Sarrazin.

Lhamo met with Markus Löning, German Federal Human Rights Commissioner, who leads the German human rights dialogue with China, and the members of the German parliament’s Human Rights Committee to highlight the situation of political prisoners in Tibet.

Wangchen interviewed Tibetans before the 2008 Beijing Olympics about the upcoming games and their views of the Chinese Governement in his documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind.” He was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to six years of imprisonment in 2009.