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Tibetans inside Tibet speak out in "Leaving Fear Behind" PDF Print E-mail
Shot inside Tibet, by two brave Tibetan filmmakers, Leaving Fear Behind is a remarkable testimony of ordinary people who are ready to tell the world of their suffering under the repression of the Chinese occupation.

The film
Dhondup Wangchen and Golog Jigme travelled for thousands of miles within their homeland to record 108 separate interviews with their fellow Tibetans. The vast majority, at great risk to themselves, insisted that their faces were shown. The footage reveals with stark clarity the level of frustration at the deterioration and marginalization of Tibetan language and culture; the destruction of the lifestyle of Tibetan nomads through Chinese forced settlement policies; the lack of religious freedom and the vilification of the Dalai Lama; and the broken promises made by the Chinese government to improve conditions in Tibet in the run up to the Olympic games.

Shortly after the tapes were smuggled out of the country both filmmakers were detained by Chinese police. On 15 October Golog Jigme was temporarily released after seven months of imprisonment during which he was severely tortured. He was re-arrested around 10 March 2009, with no explanation given by the Chinese authorities. Dhondup Wangchen remains in detention. See below how you can help secure Dhondup's release.

UPDATE: Golog Jigme has again been released following pressure from international rights groups. Jigme was released in Labrang on 20 April 2009.

The filmmakers



Dhondup Wangchen was born on 17 October 1974 in Bayen in the Tsoshar region of Amdo, Tibet. Born into a farming family, he received no formal education. As a young man, he moved to Lhasa where he increasingly became concerned about the repression suffered by the Tibetan people. Wangchen is married with four children.
Wangchen was assisted by his friend Jigme Gyatso (Golog Jigme). Jigme was born in 1969 in Golog Serta, in the Kardze region of Kham. A Tibetan Buddhist monk, Jigme has returned since his release to Labrang Monastery in Amdo (Gansu Province). He was repeatedly beaten unconscious during his first period of detention.
Watch Leaving Fear Behid here ...


Why is Leaving Fear Behind important?
This is a critical time for Tibet. 10 March 2009 will mark 50 years from the day that Tibetans rose up by the tens of thousands against Chinese rule, the uprising that sparked the Dalai Lamas escape to India. The mass protests that spread through Tibet in March 2008 show that the spirit and desire of Tibetans for freedom is as strong now as it was then, despite five decades of repression under the Chinese government. Leaving Fear Behind provides rare filmed footage of the strength of feeling of Tibetans inside Tibet. It is remarkable because of the immense risks involved for both the filmmakers and those who appear in the film. In a climate of fear, under the weight of Chinese oppression, the message of the Tibetan people is lucid and clear and it is a message intended for all of us.

Please help Tibetans inside Tibet today by acting upon that message, and help Dhondup Wangchen to be reunited with his wife Lhamo Tso and their four children. You can help Tibet Society continue its crucial work for the Tibetan people by

How YOU can help ...

Write to Wu Aiying and ask for the release of Dhondup Wangchen:

Wu Aiying
Minister of Justice
10 Chaoyang Men Nan Da Jie
Chaoyang District
Beijing 100020
People's Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Minister

Write to your MP
Alert your MP to the detention of Dhondup Wangchen and urge them to campaign for his release. In your contact with your MP highlight the ongoing repression of Tibetans and ask them to press the government on these points:

  • Press for free media access to Tibet
  • Push for a fact-finding mission inside Tibet by the UN, Red Cross or other independent body
  • Release of Tibetans arbitrarily detained in March 2008

Find out who your MP is at www.writetothem.com

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