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Liu Xiaobo Anniversary: Take Action for Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang

Friday 4 December 2020 - 10:55am

Kunchok Tsephel

Name: Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang
Occupation: Writer, language teacher and human rights defender.
Situation: Detained. Sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
#LiuXiaoboanniversary #KunchokTsephel

Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang is a Tibetan writer, language teacher and human rights defender. Born in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the Gansu Province, Kunchok left the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1989 to pursue education through the Tibetan language in North India. He returned to the PRC in 1994 where he was immediately detained and tortured for two months before being released without ever being charged with a crime.

In the late 1990s Kunchok continued his education, studying English and Mandarin Chinese at the Beijing Minzu University and at the North Western Minzu University in Gansu. In 2004, he used his education as a Tibetan and English language teacher, and along with renowned Tibetan poet Kyabchen Dedrol, established Choemei, the first website that was dedicated to the promotion of Tibetan literature in the PRC.

In 2009, Kunchok was charged with ‘disclosing state secrets’ at a closed hearing and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. Recent reports have emerged that Kunchok has developed painful medical conditions while being detained.

PEN International considers Kunchok’s detention to be a clear breach of his right to freedom of expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

Take action

  • Send an appeal to the Chinese authorities
  • Tell others: share Kunchok’s case and his work
  • Donate to Pen International

Ask the authorities to:

  • Release Kunchok Tsephel immediately and unconditionally.
  • Provide Kunchok Tsephel with immediate access to appropriate medical care.
  • End the implementation of policies that undermine the use and development of the Tibetan language and undermine protections of Tibetan culture.
  • End all policies that contravene the PRC government’s international human rights obligations.

Sample tweet:

#KunchokTsephel’s detention is a breach of his right to freedom of expression. I call for his immediate and unconditional release. #LiuXiaoboanniversary

President Xi Jinping – General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China.

Address: General Secretary Office, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhongnanhai Ximen, Fuyou Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100017, People’s Republic of China


Ambassador CHEN Xu –Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Address: 11, Chemin de Surville 1213 Petit-Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland.



Ambassador ZHANG Jun – Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations.

Address: 350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016, USA.



Send copies to the diplomatic representatives in country:‌/zwjg_665342‌/2490_665344/

We encourage PEN members to continue to:

  • Publish articles and opinion pieces about this case in your national or local press;
  • Share information about Kunchok Tsephel and your campaigning via social media; please use #LiuXiaoboanniversary and #KunchokTsephel
  • Organise public events, press conferences and demonstrations.

Please let us know about your activities and actions. This helps us monitor the impact of our campaigning.

Sample tweet:

On the Liu Xiaobo Anniversary join @PEN_Int and call for the release of writer, language teacher and human rights defender #KunchokTsephel. Detained. Sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment [insert link].

To learn about Liu Xiaobo Anniversary campaign, click here

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