Dissenting Hero Tenzin Choeyang: Young People Must Exercise Free Will to Stand up for Tibet

“The first time I actually noticed being kind of restrained for being a Tibetan in Nepal was when I wore that Free Tibet t-shirt or a jacket that had a Tibetan national flag in the front and said Free Tibet at the back and my dad was like you can’t be wearing that in the streets. The cops are going to get you and all. I didn’t really care, I just wore it because I wanted to wear it but that was the first time I actually noticed what being a Tibetan meant in Nepal and that’s still the issue.”

 Our dissenting hero of the week, Tenzin Choeyang, was raised in Nepal and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Choeyang became an activist at a very young age and is currently the board member of Students for Free Tibet West Coast. He actively participates in protest events and helps other local communities in raising awareness. 

“The expression of free will is very important and the fact that it is available here is I think a step that young people should take.

“Exercising your free will is definitely something a lot of people take for granted and it should be used more thoroughly and that’s my opinion so young people out there If you have the ability to express the free will right then definitely do it.”

Tenzin Choeyang joins the #whyprotest campaign to call on China to immediately

  • End policies and practices that are incompatible with international human rights standards on the right to peaceful assembly;
  • Repeal policy of resorting to lethal force to suppress and detain peaceful protesters;
  • Punish government officers responsible for arbitrary detention and torture of peaceful protesters;
  • Ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Convention on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance;
  • Invite UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association to assess the current state of freedom of peaceful assembly in Tibet

The #WhyProtest campaign, launched by TCHRD on 3 May to highlight freedom of expression, shines light on the brave and inspiring stories of peaceful Tibetan protesters that will tear through the cloak of coronavirus pandemic used by China to hide escalating repression and persecution of peaceful dissent in Tibet.

During the months leading up to this year’s International Human Rights Day on 10 December, the campaign will feature messages of hope, inspiration, and defiance from 30 activists and human rights defenders.

Join the #WhyProtest Campaign by sharing our digital campaign messages on your timeline or your stories of defending the right to protest and why the freedom to dissent matters to you. If interested, write to Ms Tenzin Dawa for further information: [email protected].