Tibetan writer sentenced to three years imprisonment

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the conviction and sentencing of a Tibetan writer on February 17. The IFJ demands the Chinese government ends its attack on media freedom.

According to reports, Druklo, who goes by the penname of Shokjang, was sentenced to three years after he was convicted of inciting separatism and endangering social stability by the Intermediate Court in Tongren of Huanggan in Qinghai. His sentencing, which was part of a closed-door trial, comes after ten months in detention. Druklo’s conviction and charges were based on several articles that he authored regarding the conditions of schools in Ganhcha County in Hebei, which is a Tibetan autonomous area in Qinghai province.

The local government accused Druklo of inciting discord between the nationality in the region, and that he was maintain secret contact with Tibetan separatists. In court Druklo denied the charges against him and said that he would appeal.

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “The attempts by the Chinese government to suppress and withhold reporting about Tibet are only further inflaming the situation and the understanding between the Tibetans and the Chinese. The government needs to work with the Tibetans to better understand the situation and find solutions.”

Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia are three Autonomous areas in China which are prone to issues of press freedom and journalist safety. Over the past year, numerous reports have come to light of journalists, both local and foreign, struggling to access to regions for reporting.

The IFJ calls on the Chinese government to immediately repeal the charges against Druklo and ensure freedom of expression across the country.

Druklo is one of 51 journalists and media workers that are currently detained or jailed in China according to IFJ research. The 2015 IFJ China press freedom report, China's Great Media Wall: The Fight For Freedom documents the increasing number of jailed journalists and media workers, as well as the other challenges that journalists across China face in simply trying to do their work. The IFJ has also released a digital security resource for journalists in China to better protect themselves in doing their work.  

You can join the online campaign calling for Druklo’s release here.  

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries

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