Last Sunday, Chinese authorities released a Tibetan woman in poor health after she completed a three-year prison term for allegedly inciting a self-immolation protest in her hometown in Ngaba (Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Amdo.
A Tibetan monk has been sentenced to six years in prison over self-immolation protest, more than a year after his arrest in Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.
According to reliable information received by TCHRD, Gedun Gyatso, 47, a monk from Bora Monastery was sentenced to prison on “intentional homicide” charges by the Sangchu County People’s Court. The sentence was passed on 10 December 2013. [See photo of the announcement by the County court on Gedun Gyatso’s sentencing]
In a rare departure from its usual propaganda narrative on Tibetan self-immolations, the Chinese authorities called His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with His Eminence Kirti Rinpoche “the root cause” of self-immolations in Tibet. In earlier statements, the Chinese leadership had been careful to directly blame Dalai Lama, instead blaming the so-called ‘Dalai clique’ or ‘separatist forces’ for self-immolations.
On 7 March 2013, Chinese state media quoted Wu Zegang, governor of Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province as saying, “We oppose the self-immolation … first of all, [we should find out] the root cause of the [self-immolation] problem, the root cause is the 14th Dalai Lama, and Kirti Rinpoche, who live outside [Tibet].”[i] But the fact that there had been no credible evidence to prove this reckless claim is beside the point for the Chinese authorities whose fanatical drive to stamp out popular Tibetan protests and criminalize the so-called instigators, inciters and abettors of immolations have only increased repression, instability and violence in Tibet.
In the backdrop of relentless crackdown on self-immolation protests including arbitrary arrests, detention, intimidation, monetary inducements and long prison terms, the Chinese authorities have sentenced two Tibetans on “intentional homicide” charges, one was given suspended death sentence while the other received 10-yr prison term for “inciting” and “coercing” eight people to self-immolate, out of which three died. The five others did not self-immolate after they changed their minds or due to police intervention, so goes the account published in official Chinese newspapers.
On 31 January, the Intermediate People’s Court of Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture handed Lobsang Kunchok, 40, with death penalty with two years’ reprieve and deprivation of political rights for life. His nephew, Lobsang Tsering, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with his political rights deprived for three years, according to the Chinese government-owned news agency Xinhua.
A Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Prefecture Court today sentenced Tsundue (Ch: Drungdru), a Tibetan monk, to 11 years imprisonment term charging him of ‘intentional homicide’ for hiding Phuntsog and preventing him from getting medical treatment after he set himself on fire, State news agency Xinhua reported on 29 August 2011.
On 28 August the same State news agency (Xinhua) said that three Tibetan monks charged with ‘intentional homicide’ for the immolation of Phuntsog will be tried on 29th and 30th of August. The other two monks are to be sentenced tomorrow.