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  • » 08/21/2012, 00.00

    TIBET - CHINA

    Tibetan monk gets seven years of hard labour in Sichuan



    Speedily convicted for sharing information about and photos of the self-immolation of a nun, Tenzin Wagmo, the monk spent eight months in jail during which he was tortured. Elsewhere, Chinese authorities issue rule banning suicide among Tibetans on pain of "detention."

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - An Intermediate People's Court in Ngaba (Sichuan) sentenced 37-year-old monk Yonten Gyatso (pictured when the sentence was read out in court) to seven years of hard labour for taking the picture of a nun, Tenzin Wagmo, at the moment of her self-immolation, and sharing it with others. Charges against the religious included in fact "sharing information since 2008 about political events in Tibet by attempting to make telephone calls to human rights mechanisms of the UN." He is now serving his sentence at Mianyang Prison in Sichuan province.

    Police arrested the monk on 18 October 2011 when agents entered Khashi Gyephel Samtenling Monastery where Gyatso was chant master (Umze in Tibetan) and chief disciplinarian.

    After his arrest, he was taken to a detention centre in Bhugang town, in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Whilst in custody, he was beaten and tortured, held incommunicado until the trial.

    Self-immolations have pushed China's Communist authorities to ridiculous lengths to stop them. At the annual horse racing festival in Machu, they put up a public notice that banned, among other things, suicide.

    This was the first time in four years the popular horse festival was allowed. According to tradition, 12 teams compete in a series of speed and endurance trials over a five-day period.

    However, given the significance of the festival, local officials deployed hundreds of security agents in anti-riot gear, ready to move in at any hint of protest.

    The public notice contained 11 points of does and don'ts, like showing dissent or carrying "flammable liquids," poisonous substances or leaflets relating to political, religious, cultural and economic matters.

    Point nº 10 banned activities like as "demonstrations, protests, appeals, self-injury, suicide, [and] self-immolation".

    The last point listed punishments for violators. People guilty of "medium-range offences" would be detained, whilst those engaging in greater criminal offences would be taken to court and sentenced accordingly.

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    See also

    05/06/2008 INDIA – TIBET – CHINA
    Dalai Lama leads prayer for Sichuan victims
    Buddhist leader expresses his condolence to the Chinese government for the devastating earthquake. Together with the Tibetan government-in-exile he commemorates all the victims. In Tibet police surrounds monasteries, accusing “separatists” of preparing attacks.

    20/10/2011 CHINA – TIBET
    Beijing accuses Dalai Lama of inciting suicide
    The Communist government, which is atheist and opposed to religious freedom, talks about violations of ethics and conscience in the case of self-immolating Buddhist monks in Tibet. A local source instead blames the Chinese regime for destroying “the bases of our peaceful religion in Tibet”. This, i.e. suicidem “is what follows”.

    26/05/2010 CHINA – TIBET
    In Lhasa, Tibetan man sentenced to death for his involvement in 2008 clashes
    The Intermediate People’s Court in the Tibetan capital convicts Sonam Tsering for taking part in anti-Chinese demonstrations; five more Tibetans are sentenced to jail terms, ranging from three to five years, for protecting him.

    15/01/2011 TIBET – CHINA
    Human rights worse in Tibet in 2010
    A report by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy notes that intellectuals, monks and students are the most affected. Beijing wants to settle the Tibetan issue once and for all through violence and repressive laws and by further tightening its stranglehold over the territory.

    16/04/2010 CHINA – TIBET
    More repression in Tibet, 30 teenagers arrested
    During incident in Sertha County, students on their way to school try to stop police from beating two Tibetan monks. Security forces arrest everyone, fine parents and school for not stopping the protest.



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