Wednesday, May 27, 2009

China court announces verdict on 6 monks

A court in Chamdo sentenced six Tibetan monks to various prison terms last Friday (May 22, 2009) in connection with a bombing incident in January this year, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said today in a press release.
The Tibetan NGO that monitors human rights situation in the restive Himalayan region raised questions over the trials saying there is little information about whether the convicted monks had access to legal representation and the right to defend their case.
Jomda County People’s Court tried the monks. Abbot Tenzin Gyaltsen, 37; Nyi-chig, 50; ex-treasurer Ngawang Tashi, 51; Tashi Dorjee, 30; have been sentenced to 15 years in prison while Chant leader Jamyang Sherab, 42, was sentenced to 13 years and Tsering Palden, 36, to 12 years in prison.
The monks were arrested on January 9 and 10 from Den Choekhor monastery for their alleged involvement in a bomb blast that took place in Choekor Township, Jomda County, Chamdo Prefecture, “Tibet Autonomous Region” (“TAR”). A few sporadic protests followed the incident, according to the centre.Their charges included bombing, participation in protests and refusing to sign documents denouncing the Dalai Lama, the centre said citing unnamed sources.
Meanwhile, the centre also said families of two Labrang monks serving lengthy prison sentences have been denied permission to visit the monks since their arrest more than year ago. The two, Tsultrim Gyatso, 37; and Thabkhay, 34; were sentenced last Thursday (May 21, 2009) by the Kanlho Intermediate People’s Court, to life and to 15 years in prison respectively for alleged participation in a protest on March 15 last year in Labrang.


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