We seldom agree with Vermont Independent Congressman Bernard Sanders, but we're happy the United States House of Representatives recently approved his resolution on behalf of a former Vermont student. The resolution urges the U.S. government to step up pressure on China to release former Middlebury College student and Fulbright scholar Ngawang Choephel.

Choephel is a student of Tibetan descent, who studied at Middlebury from 1992-93. He went to Tibet in 1995 to film a documentary about Tibetan music and dance, but he was arrested and held for a year without being charged. Earlier this year, a Chinese court sentenced him to 18 years in jail.

Bernie's sense of the House resolution calls on the administration to raise Choephel's imprisonment at every top-level meeting with Chinese officials, to warn Americans that Tibet "is not a safe destination for American travelers," and to demand that Tibet be opened up to international human-rights observers.

The Clinton administration should heed this resolution. Choephel's plight is one more example of Beijing's Stalinist insensitivity and gross disregard for human rights and human decency.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.