Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
A court in north-western China sentenced three Tibetans to up to 15 years in prison after convicting them of encouraging a self-immolation protest, US-based Radio Free Asia reported on Tuesday.
The three men were charged with “intentional homicide” after the death of Tsering Tashi in Luqu county, Gansu province, after his November 29 self-immolation.
The county court in Luqu, or Luchu in Tibetan, on Thursday sentenced Lhamo Dorje to 15 years in prison, Kalsang Sonam to 11 years in prison and Tsezung Kyab to 10 years in prison, the news service founded by the US government to promote democracy quoted local sources as telling its Tibetan service.
Chinese state media had not reported the sentences, which followed trials of the three men and six other Tibetans in Luqu last week.
The trials were held under tight security amid a campaign by the Chinese government to punish Tibetans accused of assisting self-immolators, the broadcaster said.
More than 100 Tibetans have set fire to themselves in the past four years to protest Chinese rule of traditionally Tibetan areas, including at least two others in Luqu.
A court in Qinghai province, which borders Gansu, sentenced a senior Buddhist monk from Rongwo monastery to 15 months in prison last week after convicting him of taking away the ashes of his nephew, a monk who set himself on fire, the Indian-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said on Monday.
In Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, artist Ngawang Tobden, 20, was sent to a labour camp for two years after he was convicted of possessing digital photographs of two self-immolators, Radio Free Asia reported last week.
State media said a court in Qinghai's Huangnan district sentenced a Tibetan man to 13 years in prison on February 8 after convicting him of inciting a monk to self-immolate while local police announced the arrest of 70 more Tibetans on similar charges. - Sapa-dpa