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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China denies family access to two Labrang monks serving lengthy prison sentences

May 28, 2009

May 27, 2009


China denies family access to two Labrang monks
serving lengthy prison sentences

Two Tibetans who were earlier sentenced on 21 May
2009 by the Kanlho Intermediate People's Court to
life and another to 15 years? imprisonment terms
were denied access to family members since their
detention more than a year, according to
information received by the Tibetan Centre for
Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Tsultrim Gyatso, a 37-year-old from Yig-jang
Village in Labrang (Ch: Xiahe) County, and
Thabkhay Gyatso, 34, from Sangkag Village in
Labrang County were detained for their
participation in the 15 March protest that took
place in Labrang last year. Both Tsultrim and
Thabkhay are monks of Labrang Monastery in
Sangchu County, Gannan ?Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture? (?TAP?) Gansu Province. Tsultrim
Gyatso immediately left Sangchu County after the
demonstration to avoid arrest but was eventually
tracked down and arrested by Drungchu County
Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel on 22 May
2008. There is no clear information on Thabkhay
Gyatso?s place and date of detention.

Last Thursday, on 21 May 2009 Gannan (Tib:
Kanlho) Intermediate People?s Court sentenced
Tsultrim Gyatso to life imprisonment whereas
Thabkhay Gyatso was sentenced to 15 years?
imprisonment term on charges of ?endangering the state security.?

According to sources, both Tsultrim and Thabkhay
were not only denied access to their family
members but also their family members were not
informed about the court trial that took place
last Thursday. Family members are known to be
very worried about their well being as they have
not seen their sons for more than a year, sources told TCHRD.

It is highly condemnable that like many other
detainees in Tibet, both Tsultrim and Thabkhay
were completely denied access to their family
members. Under such circumstances it is highly
doubtful whether the defendants ever received
anything remotely like international standard for
fair trial such as adequate legal representation
of their choice. According to the latest
information, Thabkhay Gyatso who is known to be
suffering from severe appendicitis is recovering
in Tsoe Government hospital after successful
minor surgery. No family members were allowed to meet him in the hospital.

TCHRD calls on the Chinese authorities to allow
immediate access to their family members and to
ensure in all circumstances to respect for human
rights and fundamental freedoms of the two in
accordance with the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and with international human rights
instruments that People?s Republic of China is a state party.

NB: For picture of Tsultrim Gyatso kindly visit our website
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