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Up to life term for 7 Tibetans for March 14 Lhasa protests

(TibetanReview.net, Dec 21) — Seven Tibetans were sentenced to jail terms ranging from eight years to life within a span of 12 days in Oct-Nov’08 for their involvement in the Mar 14 protest in Lhasa, said Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) citing its own source and Lhasa Evening News (Lasa Wen bao) Nov 8.

Five of them were sentenced by the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court on Oct 27 for “endangering state security” and illegally offering information to people outside China. Wangdue, in his 40’s, was given life-term for “endangering state security” while Migmar Dhondup got 14 years on the same charge. The others were Sonam Dakpa, Phuntsok Dorjee and Tsewang Dorjee who were jailed for 10, nine, and eight years respectively for illegally offering information to people outside China. In addition, Wangdue was deprived of political rights for life while for the others it was five years each.

Later on Nov 7, the same court sentenced Yeshi Choedon, a retired health worker in her 50’s, to 15 years in jail and Sonam Tseten to 10 years, the former for “endangering state security” and the latter for illegally offering information to people outside China. Both were also deprived of political rights for five years each.

The group said the whereabouts of Wangdue, a former political prisoner and HIV/AIDS activist, still remained unknown. It was not clear why he got a life-term or the others were sentence to these different lengthy terms.

The report cited Mr. Li Boadong, China’s UN Permanent Representative at Geneva, as saying, responding to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) expert during a hearing, “After judicial proceedings, 69 had been sentenced to imprisonment for committing crimes of arson, robbery, theft, obstructing government functions, trouble-making in the streets, gathering to disrupt public order or attacking State organs; seven had been sentenced for committing crimes of treason or illegally offering information to people outside China, and eight were still under investigation by the judicial organs.”

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