China shifts Tibetan filmmaker to jail with improved facilities

TibetanReview: An amateur Tibetan video filmmaker jailed for alleged subversion for six years by China for secretly filming in early 2008 interviews with Tibetans about life under Chinese rule has been shifted to a relatively better prison facility. Held earlier in the Xichuan labour camp in Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, Dhondup Wangchen has now been shifted to Qinghai Provincial Women's Prison. He is said to be the only Tibetan inmate there.

He has told a visitor that he was now in better health, even though he had spent six months in solitary confinement in Xichuan. It has also been learnt that his request for an appeal of his sentence, imposed in Dec 2009, was denied in Jan 2010. The visitor was able to inform him that he had been awarded the Committee to Protect Journalists’s International Press Freedom Award in Nov 2012.

Wangchen was held in Mar 2008 for conceiving and shooting interviews with a cross section of Tibetans about life under Chinese rule and a 25-minute documentary, "Leaving Fear Behind," was produced from its smuggled footage. The documentary was released during the Beijing Olympics of Aug 2008.

Meanwhile, there is still no information about Jigme Gyatso, a Buddhist monk who helped shoot the film, and who has been arrested several times, after his last detention in Sep 2012.

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