21 February 2018
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  • » 12/23/2008, 00.00


    Tibetans sentenced to years in prison

    China is detaining and sentencing people who protested in Tibet and Sichuan against police violence and for greater freedom. At the time the incidents had led to worldwide protests which worried Beijing.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tibetans “guilty” of protesting last March against the Chinese government are being tried and sentenced to long years in prison. Local sources told Radio Free Asia that “two monks, Orgyen Tashi and Tenzin Ngodrub, were sentenced by the Kardze (Ganzi in Chinese) People’s Intermediate Court to three years’ imprisonment for participating in peaceful protests last 18 March. The fate of a third monk, Lobsang, who had at first been detained with the others, remains a “mystery” and his family has “no information about his [. . .] place of detention.” At the time protests had broken out in response to violence by Chinese police in Tibet but also in Sichuan, home to Tibetan enclaves.

    Tibet's government in exile said more than 200 Tibetans were killed in the subsequent region-wide Chinese crackdown. China reported instead that police killed just one "insurgent" and blames Tibetan "rioters" for the deaths of 21 people.

    Four other Tibetans involved in the 18 March protest were sentenced to three year’s imprisonment. Pema Deshey, Tashi Palden, Goga, and Sangpo were “severely tortured during three months of detention in Kardze,” a source said. “Later, they were moved to Nyagrong (Xinlong in Chinese) County prison and detained for a little over six months.”

    More than 200 Tibetans were detained following protests throughout Kardze, taken away by the truckload under heavy guard. The personal belongings of some of them were eventually returned to their family.

    “About 20 were released, while the rest are still being held,” another source said. “About 70 per cent of those are said to have been sentenced to prison terms of different lengths.”

    “Recently, the Kardze People’s Intermediate Court secretly sentenced Sherab, a monk of the Khangmar monastery, to three years in prison,” a third source said.

    “Tsering Phuntsog, also a monk from Khangmar, was given 2-1/2 years, and a lay youth named Palden Wangyal, 19, was given a three-year term.”

    In March Chinese repression and arrests had generated worldwide protests, including calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

    China tried to calm the situation by opening a dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama.

    However, after the Olympic Games it reiterated its claim that the Tibetan spiritual leader was a “terrorist” and refused again to consider any request for Tibetan autonomy or any protection for its culture.

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    See also

    09/04/2008 TIBET - CHINA
    Gansu: Tibetan monks disrupt a government led tour for journalists
    It is the second episode in 15 days, since Beijing isolated the areas in revolt. The monks are asking for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and clarify that they do not want independence, just respect for human rights.

    28/05/2009 TIBET – CHINA
    Police shoots at crowd, wounding six Tibetan women
    In Tawu County plans are underway to build a big hydroelectric dam. This is coming at a heavy price, the displacement of tens of thousands of Tibetans. When people protested, police shot at the crowd. In the meantime protesters arrested in March 2008 are still getting life in prison.

    07/10/2010 TIBET – CHINA
    Two Tibetan monks get lengthy prison terms in Lhasa
    The Intermediate People’s Court in the Tibetan capital gives Jampel Wangchuk and Kunchok Nyima life and 20 years in prison respectively. Both took part in the March 2008 anti-Chinese protests. The crackdown against Tibetan Buddhism continues.

    25/03/2008 CHINA - TIBET
    Intellectuals and dissidents ask China to reconsider the "errors" committed in Tibet
    Writers, activists, lawyers, artists press Beijing to open a direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama, and demand full religious freedom for Tibet. The official propaganda - as crude as that of the Cultural Revolution - incites racial hatred.

    26/04/2008 CHINA - TIBET - JAPAN
    World leaders applaud the announcement of talks between China and the Dalai Lama
    Favourable comments worldwide over yesterday's announcement, but also anticipation of future results. Meanwhile, the torch passes "unharmed" through Japan.

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