More Tibetans Being Jailed: Report
Dharamsala, Dec. 23 – China is handing down further prison terms to Tibetans arrested for protests earlier this year in southwestern province of Sichuan, according to sources, Radio Free Asia reported. Many of those recently sentenced are said to have taken part in a March 18 protest in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. “Recently, two monks, Orgyen Tashi and Tenzin Ngodrub, were sentenced by the Kardze People’s Intermediate Court to three years’ imprisonment,” the source told RFA. The source said the fate of another monk named Lobsang, who had at first been detained with the others, remains a “mystery,” “His family members have no information about his health or place of detention, and they are extremely worried,” RFA quoted the source as saying. A second source said four other Tibetans involved in the March 18 protest were sentenced to three year’s imprisonment. The four—Pema Deshey, Tashi Palden, Goga, and Sangpo—were “severely tortured during three months of detention in Kardze,” the source said.“Later, they were moved to Nyagrong county prison and detained for a little over six months. Even during this detention, they were subjected to torture and severe beatings.”Relatives of the four believe that all four may have been taken to a jail in Kardze Prefecture’s Dhartsedo county after the verdict was passed, the source said, though “they could have been moved to a larger prison in China.” Citing the same source, RFA reported that a truckload of Tibetan prisoners was seen headed for China under heavy guard, and the personal belongings of some of the prisoners were being returned to family members.More than 200 Tibetans were detained following protests throughout Kardze earlier this year, according to another source in the region.“About 20 were released, while the rest are still being held. About 70 percent of those are said to have been sentenced to prison terms of different lengths.”Another source told RFA that the Kardze People’s Intermediate Court secretly sentenced Sherab and Tsering Phuntsog, both monks of Khangmar monastery, to three years and 2-1/2 years in prison respectively. Another Tibetan lay youth named Palden Wangyal, 19, was given a three-year term, the source said. “All these sentences were given secretly for fear of Tibetan reaction,” the source said.A court official in Dhartsedo confirmed the ongoing sentencing of Tibetan protesters. Only “serious cases” were being brought to the Dhartsedo court, while “other cases are tried in their respective counties of the Kardze Prefecture,” the official told RFA after being approached for comment. Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and other Tibetan regions of Sichuan witnessed a heavy crackdown on Tibetans by Chinese security forces in the wake of the Lhasa protests leaving hundreds dead and many others injured. The first pictures of dead Tibetans with bullet wounds emerged from Sichuan province. Tibetan exile government claims more than 200 Tibetans were killed in the Chinese crackdown. China, however, says only one Tibetan rioter was killed by its bullet and instead blames the Tibetans for killing 21 innocent people including some Chinese. China blamed the exile Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama for instigating the unrest in Tibet, an accusation that the Nobel peace prizewinner denied and invited an independent body comprised of even Chinese government representatives to scrutinize the files and computers of the exile Tibetan government’s base in Dharamsala. However, no investigating team was sent to Dharamsala until now.
Phayul[Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:02]