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China jails 8 Tibetans for alleged self-immolation involvement

Dolma Tso, in an undated photo. Photo courtesy: RFA)
Dolma Tso, in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA).

(TibetanReview.net, Nov07, 2014) – A Chinese court in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County of Sichuan Province has on Nov 3 sentenced eight Tibetans to jail terms of up to five years for their alleged involvement in the protest self-immolation death of a fellow-Tibetan named Konchog Tseten on Dec 3, 2013. There has been no official statement or a Chinese media report on the sentencing. However, Gu-Chu-Sum, a Dharamshala-based association of former Tibetan political prisoners under Chinese rule, said in a press statement Nov 5 that one of them, a woman named Dolma Tso, had only helped to put the charred remains of the self-immolator into a motor vehicle.

But China suspected her of being involved in the self-immolation, which had taken place in Serde Village of the county’s Meruma Township, and jailed her for three years. The group said she was severely tortured during her 11-month detention in an attempt to force her to ‘confess’ her involvement. But she stuck to her statement that she only helped to put the scorched body of the already deceased protester into a vehicle.

The group said two other persons, Konme and Gephel, were jailed for three and two years, respectively, in connection with the same case. It added that five other Tibetans, who were yet to be identified, were jailed for five years each.

Those five Tibetans, along with Dolma Tso and two Kirti Monastery monks named Tenpa and Lobsang Gyatso, were picked up by the Chinese police in December last year. Altogether some 20 Tibetans were detained after Konchog Tseten’s self-immolation. While some were eventually released, eight have now been sentenced while two were still in detention, the group said.

Dolma Tso’s brother Kungam spoke about the case during a Gu-Chu-Sum press conference. He said Dolma Tso was the sixth member in three generations of her family to suffer severely under Chinese rule, including with killings.

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