12/07/2020

Tibetan AIDS activist missing

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File photo of Wangdue talking to Lhasa residents about AIDS
File photo of Wangdue talking to Lhasa residents about AIDS

Wangdue, a Tibetan HIV AIDS activist, has been missing since his arbitrary detention by the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau (PSB) from his home on 14 March 2008, according to information received by TCHRD.

“Wangdue, now in his early 40s was born in Taktse County (Ch: Daxi/Dagze Xian), Lhasa Municipality, “Tibet Autonomous Region” (“TAR”). He is a former political prisoner initially arrested for his involvement in the March 1989 protest in Lhasa and was later sentenced to three years to “Re-education through Labour” in Sangyip Prison, also known as “TAR” PSB Detention Centre.

His prison sentence was further raised by four years by the Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court for his involvement in a protest in Sangyip, and he was later transferred to the notorious Drapchi Prison in Lhasa where he completed his remaining prison term. Following his release in 1995, Wangdue studied English language besides working in Lhasa.

Wangdue came into contact with a foreign NGO working on an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Lhasa City and worked to create HIV/AIDS awareness in various brothels around Lhasa city, schools in neighboring counties and towns, and organized talk series in various nightclubs mushrooming in the holy city. The NGO also published and printed numerous education booklets, posters and pamphlets on HIV/AIDS awareness in Tibetan and Chinese language for free distribution to educate the general public on the deadly disease which is gradually gaining ground in Tibet. Due to their success, numerous schools, government offices including the “TAR” Police Academy invited the NGO to give lecture on the HIV/AIDS awareness to their students, staffs and recruits.

The plight of Wangdue is reminiscent of Hu Jia, the Chinese dissident nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Like the Chinese democracy, environmental and AIDS activist, Hu Jia, who has been nominated by the Nobel Committee for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Wangdue has been spearheading a noble community service project in educating the masses about the HIV/AIDS in Tibet.

Wangdue also deserves a similar respect and adulation from the international community for his selfless community service and the international community, should therefore, urgently press for his early release so that he can continue with his noble mission of creating awareness on HIV/AIDS.