News / Asia

Tibetan Filmmaker Released from Prison

Dhondup Wangchen after his release from prison, Qinghai province, China, June 5, 2014.
Dhondup Wangchen after his release from prison, Qinghai province, China, June 5, 2014.
Tsering Kyi
Family members of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen say he was released from prison Thursday after serving a six year sentence in China.

They say after his release in Qinghai's provincial capital of Xining, he was driven about two hours to his sister's house.

The self-taught cameraman and video-activist was arrested in 2008 after travelling across Tibet with his assistant to film the documentary "Leaving Fear Behind." He was later convicted of shooting a film without permission.
 
Dhondup Wangchen after his release from prison, Qinghai province, China, June 5, 2014.Dhondup Wangchen after his release from prison, Qinghai province, China, June 5, 2014.
x
Dhondup Wangchen after his release from prison, Qinghai province, China, June 5, 2014.
Dhondup Wangchen after his release from prison, Qinghai province, China, June 5, 2014.
Dhondup Wangchen's assistant, Golog Jigme, recently arrived in Dharamsala, India after an epic escape from China that involved walking through some of the highest and most rugged land in the world.  

Speaking from Switzerland, his cousin Jamyang Tsultrim told VOA's Tibetan service the filmmaker suffered in prison because of kidney problems.  

"I asked him how his health was and he said that he wasn’t doing that well and that his immediate concern is to be able to see his parents and reunite with his wife and children," said Jamyang.

His wife, Lhamo Tso, who now lives in the western U.S. city of San Francisco, said she was left speechless when she heard her husband's voice on the phone Thursday.

"My children and I, and my husband’s parents, have waited and worried all these years. But when I was able to talk to my husband this morning, I couldn’t say anything but cry," said Lhamo.

“Leaving Fear Behind” has been translated into a dozen languages and has been screened in more than 30 countries worldwide. In the documentary, ordinary Tibetan farmers and nomads talk about their lives and a desire to see the Dalai Lama return to his homeland.

Chinese officials have not offered any comment on Dhondup Wangchen's release.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: DEREK C from: KUALA LUMPUR
June 05, 2014 10:40 PM
This the typical Chinese who found a way to migrate to west, by making a film to highlight the shortcomings of the motherland. The US and the west take great pleasure to glorify traitors like him and will give refuge to him (his wife and children already in the US). He should have been shot for treason.
In Response

by: Zao Medong from: Hunan
June 06, 2014 10:15 AM
Who determine the shortcomings of the motherland? Who is responsible?

by: george from: china
June 05, 2014 6:48 PM
Where do this guy’s wife and family live in? All in USA? Well done.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More