In a series of court trails recently of Tibetans detained for their involvement in the protest last year in Tibet, more such cases of court sentencing are slowly reaching the outside world. The latest among such court trials were from Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) where in January this year, monk and a nun were sentenced to varying prison terms of four and three years respectively for staging peaceful protests in Kardze county, according confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
Ngawang Lhundup, aged 22 and Kel Nyima (age unknown), both monks of Kardze Monastery were detained by the Kardze County Public Security Bureau (PSB) on 9 June 2008 for staging a protest demonstration at the Kardze County headquarters, Kardze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’), Sichuan Province. According to sources, “Ngawang Lhundup was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment term by the Kardze County Intermediate People’s Court in early January this year for his protest in June last year.” There was no information on his whereabouts since his arrest by the PSB officials until his court sentence in January this year. The fate of his friend Kel Nyima remains unknown, as there is no information on his whereabouts and condition.
Ngawang Lhundup was born to Sangay Wangchuk (father) and Yarkong (mother) in Dhago Village, Dhago Township, Kardze County, Kardze “TAP” Sichuan Province.
In a separate court trial in January 2009, Pema Lhamo, a nun of Kardze Gaden Choeling Nunnery was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment term by the same court for her participation in a peaceful protest at Kardze County on 14 May 2008. She was arrested from the site of the protest along with six other nuns of the same nunnery and a layperson. There is no information on the current status and whereabouts of Tibetans who were also arrested along with Pema Lhamo.
It is not known where the two have been held currently. The sources confide they were reports of two having transferred to a prison nearby the provincial capital, Chengdu, to serve their sentence but it cannot be confirmed as of now because of much restriction on flow of information and severe monitoring by the authorities.
As the Tibetans all over pledge to skip the upcoming Tibetan New Year (Losar 25-27 February 2009) to mourn victims of last year’s protests in Tibet, Chinese authorities particularly in Kardze are said to be deliberately encouraging Tibetans to celebrate the New Year, with monetary gift of 500 Yuan each to encourage celebrations.
The TCHRD strongly condemns the sentencing of Tibetans who were involved in peaceful protest to voice their political and religious aspirations as shared by many other Tibetans inside Tibet and calls for their immediate release. Over the past year, courts at various levels have sentenced nearly 200 Tibetans involved in a series of protests to varying prison terms including life sentence to seven Tibetans.