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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

World Coalition protests against Tibet death sentences

May 21, 2009

By Phurbu Thinley
May 20, 2009

Dharamsala, May 20 -- Worried by situation in
Tibet, World Coalition Against Death Penalty has
sent official letters to Chinese authorities to
protest against the death sentences passed on
five Tibetans involved in last year’s unrest
against Chinese rule in Tibet, according to a report on its website.

The report said the coalition, which advocates
for the universal abolition of the death penalty,
acted after it was being alerted on the issue by its local members.

On 24 April 2009, the World Coalition sent an
official letter to Chinese Minister for Justice
Wu Aiying Buzhang and to Governor of the Tibet
Autonomous Region Qiangba Puncog (Jampa Phuntsok)
to protest against the death sentences pronounced
against five Tibetans by the Municipal
intermediary Court of Lhasa following the events
of 14 March 2008, the report said.

The Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People's Court
last month handed down death sentences to two
Tibetan men and suspended death sentences to
three others, including a 21-year old girl.

It was the first report of death sentences given
out for last year’s unrest in Tibet that led to
the most sustained uprising against Chinese rule in decades.

While demanding immediate adoption of a
moratorium on the death sentences, the World
Coalition recalled that no study could prove that
Death Penalty is efficient against re-offence, it said.

"On the contrary, it is proved that the death
penalty is discriminatory and targets above all
the poor, minorities and the members of certain
racial, ethnic and religious communities,” the report added.

According to the report, the World Coalition has
yet to receive an answer from the Chinese
authorities and is "exploring all means available
to make its message and that of the world abolitionist community heard.”

The harsh sentences on Tibetans sparked angry
responce from rights and Tibetan activist groups around the world.

Tibetan Government-in-exile in India condemned
the death sentences, saying they were sentences
were arbitrarily meted out without open and fair trial.

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty,
created in Rome on 13 May 2002, is an alliance of
about 60 NGOs, bar associations, local bodies and
unions. Every year of 10 October the world
Coalition observes “World Day Against the Death
Penalty." Last year the group called on citizens
around the world to take action to end executions in Asia to mark the day.
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