10/07/2010, 00.00
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.

Lhasa (AsiaNews) – Tibetan monks continue to endure arrests, torture and prison. The Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court gave two Drepung monks, Jampel Wangchuk and Kunchok Nyima, a life sentence and a 20 years prison term respectively, for their involvement in street protests in March 2008 that Chinese soldiers drowned in blood, this according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 10 March 2008, around 350 monks from Drepung Monastery (one of Tibet’s three great monasteries) started a protest, setting off on a march towards nearby Lhasa City to protest restrictions imposed by ethnic Han Chinese on Tibetans.

Police stopped the monks before they could reach their destination, forcing them back. They also detained some and deported others to their provinces of origin.

A month later (11 April 2008), Jampel Wangchuk and Kunchok Nyima were arrested. Since then, their whereabouts remained unknown until they were sentenced in June 2010 by the court in Lhasa.

In the meantime, Drepung Monastery has remained a target for the authorities. A 60-member work team led by top officials has been stationed in the institution to conduct political re-education classes for the monks.

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