05/30/2005, 00.00
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Two Tibetan monks sentenced to 11 years in prison

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy slams the Chinese Court's decision. The monks' crime: hoisting the Tibetan flag.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Lobsang Khedrup and Gyalpo, two Tibetan monks from Kardze (Sichuan province), were sentenced to 11 years of prison for hoisting the national flag of Tibet, this according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Lobsang Khedrup, 22, who hails from the municipality of Dado, was arrested in February 2004 in his native city. Gyalpo, 26, from Shungteng, was arrested a month earlier. For months, nothing was known of their fate and health.

Only recently did their relatives get some information when, after a year in prison, the two monks appeared before a court which sentenced them to 11 years. Currently, they are in the Dartsedo prison.

For some years, the Kardze area has become a focal point for Beijing's repression.

The possession of Tibet's national flag, of photos of the Dalai Lama, and of political literature is banned and treated as a "crime against state security".

According to the TCHRD, 146 people were detained for political reasons in 2004— most of them were sentenced for "crimes against state security".

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