28/09/2020

#DissentingHero Sonam Wangdue: Protest to Defend Truth and Justice

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“The right to protest is a fundamental human right. The reason we protest is to protect human rights. We protest because we are discontented.”

Our #dissentinghero of the week, Sonam Wangdue, is a long time member of the Tibetan Youth Congress. He has worked as a human rights activist and participated in a number of protests for many decades. He is also a well-known actor and a stand-up comedian in the Tibetan community.

I believe non-violent protest action is an important tactic to use in our movement. If you do not agree with something, you have to speak out and if someone stops you then that’s wrong. Because to protest is our right.

“When we protest, we realise we do not have a country. That we are in a foreign land. And that our Tibetan brothers and sisters are in Tibet. These common emotions that come to fore during protest actions is a great way to bring unity among Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. That we are one in our experience of pain and loss and the realisation that the source of this suffering is the Chinese government. Therefore, the act of protest is very important. I urge everyone to continue to protest.”

Sonam Wangdue 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, shine 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: tenzin.dawa@tchrd.org.