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China jails 12 Tibetans on ‘criminal gang’ charges for apparent religious activities

Sog County (Map courtesy: Google)

(TibetanReview.net, Jan16’20) – In an apparent strengthening of crackdown on religion, China has jailed for up to nearly two years 12 villagers in Sog (Chinese: Suo) County of Nagchu Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, for allegedly running “a criminal gang”, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jan 15, citing the regional party mouthpiece Tibet Daily.

There was no suggestion of what exactly the 12 had done to earn the charge of running a criminal gang. The Jan 14 report by Tibet Daily was stated to have simply accused them of fraud and “using religious influence to interfere in the affairs of local government” without any explanation.

The report was stated to have also claimed that the 12 had “exploited and harassed” local people and preached “superstitious ideas, attempting to spread the evil influence of religion in the villages”.

The daily was cited as saying all 12, including a man named Druk, had “confessed their crimes” and will now serve their one to nearly two-year terms in prison without appealing their sentences to a higher court.

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