Brussels, 30 November 2021: In keeping with tradition, the Tibet Interest Group (TIG) of the European Parliament convened a special meeting for an exchange with well-known former Tibetan political prisoner and Tibetan filmmaker Mr Dhondup Wangchen. The latter is currently on a speaking tour of 15 European countries ahead of the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics.
The meeting was moderated by MEP Mikulas Peksa, Chair of the TIG, attended by MEPs Salima Yenbou, Isabel Santos, Parliamentary Assistants, ICT Europe’s Executive Director Mr Wangpo Tethong and his colleagues, Board Members of the Tibetan Community, Representative Tashi Phuntsok and staffs of the Office of Tibet, Brussels.
The meeting commenced with a brief welcome speech by ICT’s EU Policy Director Mr Vincent Metten followed by the introductory speech of ICT Europe’s Executive Director Mr Wangpo Tethong.
Then MEP Salima Yenbou took the floor and thanked the TIG for inviting her to the exchange of views with Mr Dhondup Wangchen. Despite her very busy schedule, it was extremely important for her to be present at this meeting. She suggested working together with other victims of Chinese government oppression. “Political fights are stronger when everyone is included”, said MEP Yenbou.
Representative Tashi Phuntsok
“I am touring European countries to shine the spotlight on continued human rights abuses by China, particularly in Tibet. In the run up to the 2008 Beijing Games, China promised that their human rights record would improve. Back then, I believed in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and trusted them to live up to their promises,” said Mr Dhondup Wangchen adding, “Let history not repeat itself”.
MEP Isabel Santos made a few concrete recommendations that will follow suit in the European Parliament in the coming days.
Mr Dhondup Wangchen was imprisoned by the Chinese government in 2008 for making the documentary Leaving Fear Behind. He was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for subversion. Numerous international human rights organisations protested his detention, including Amnesty International, which named him a prisoner of conscience.
Anyone willing to support his advocacy tour can submit their oath at www.myolympicoath.org.
Mr Dhondup Wangchen’s tour in Belgium is organised by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).