Monday 3 January 2011

China jails three Tibetan writers to three-four years

(, Jan 03, 2011) Three Tibetan writers arrested in Jun-Jul’10 and tried on Oct 28 have been sentenced to jail terms of three to four years by the Aba (Tibetan: Ngaba) Intermediate People's Court in Sichuan Province on Dec 30, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington, DC) Dec 31. The report cited sources from the area as saying they were convicted for "inciting activities to split the nation."

Jangtse Donkho and Buddha were reported to have received four years each while Kalsang Jinpa was given three years, the report said. All three pleaded not guilty to the charges which stemmed from articles they had written about the 2008 Tibetan protest movement in a local newsletter, Shar Dungri (Eastern Snow Mountain).

In apparent protest at the unfairness of the trial, the three were reported to have remained seated when told to rise to hear the verdict, which was delivered without the presence of a lawyer for any them. Donkho was, in fact, reported to have clapped his hands when the judge read the four-year sentence for him to apparently express his sarcasm.

Earlier, during trial, Buddha had said in fluent Chinese that the articles of the kind he and the others were accused of writing had also been published by Han Chinese. He had added that the three were being victimised due to their ethnicity and had accused the authorities of perpetrating "injustice among different nationalities."

The other two writers had also spoken, in Tibetan, in their own defence, but were reportedly hampered by poor interpreting service.

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