The situation in Tibet is deteriorating, and Chinese authorities are working hard to keep it from the international spotlight. International journalists are barred, except on government-controlled tours. Independent coverage of ethnic tensions in the region is quickly censored in the Chinese media.

Tibetan journalists face harsh punishments. Before Dhondup Wangchen, no Tibetans were jailed for reporting. Now, at least 9 other Tibetan journalists besides him are behind bars, often for inciting separatism—the same charge Chinese state media level against the Dalai Lama and his "clique." Deprived of a voice, Tibetans seek more and more desperate ways to communicate. More than 50 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule in the past three years, according to The Associated Press.

This trend has implications beyond Tibet. At least seven ethnic Uighur journalists are also jailed. Freedom for Dhondup Wangchen would be the first step toward freedom for all ethnic minority journalists struggling to shed light on tensions with the Chinese state.

By supporting Dhondup Wangchen, you are sending a message to Chinese authorities that his efforts to speak on behalf of an oppressed community were not wasted. Those who courageously agreed to speak with him have found an audience. And that audience will not rest until Dhondup Wangchen is freed.

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