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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."

Lawyer ejected because of "no use": monk sentenced to life

July 22, 2009

by Nirmala Carvalho (AsiaNews)

Tibetans are stopped from employing a trusted lawyer, lawyers are
removed and they denied access to clients. In closed door trials,
without a trusted defence, Tibetans who dared to protest or praise to
the Dalai Lama, are handed down heavy sentences.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - The Court does not allow the lawyer, because the
client already has one appointed by the court: Sentenced to life

Beijing lawyer, Li Dunyong, along with others have repeatedly declared
they are ready to defend Tibetans. He was named by relatives to defend
the monks Tsultrim Gyatso and Thabkey Gyatso from the monastery of
Labrang (Gansu), arrested for taking part in a political protest. Li
says that the authorities have responded that his work was not
necessary, because the monks "already had a lawyer."

The two monks, after they were denied defence, were sentenced to life
and 15 years in prison for "having attempted to divide the country."

Radio Free Asia yesterday reported a number of cases in which the court
has not accepted the legal representation of Tibetan defendants.
Officials of the court in Xining (Qinghai) refused Li permission to
defend documentary producer Dhondup Wangchen.

Wangchen has been held since March 2008 for having interviewed two
Tibetans about their political ideas, for the film "Leaving Fear
Behind". The film, which collects testimonies of the Tibetans on the
Dalai Lama, Chinese policy in Tibet and the Olympic Games in Beijing,
has been translated into seven languages and screened in over 30
countries. Li has been appointed by the family of Wangchen, who only
discovered the arrest after a year.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reports
that the court of Kardze (Sichuan) on July 3 sentenced Tibetan monk
Jamyang Tenzin to 3 years in prison for having protested against the
campaign of "Patriotic Education" launched in Lithang 2007.

Jamyang was arrested on 3 October 2007 because he objected to a peaceful
campaign of "education" underway in Yonru monastery, County Lithang.
Since then he has been held in prison but his family knew nothing about
the arrest and hence no one has been able to go and visit him. It is not
known whether he had legal advice in the trial.

In September 2007 the Chinese authorities imposed campaigns of
indoctrination on the monasteries of Lithang. The "instructors" have
also demanded monks to write complaints against the Dalai Lama and to
show loyalty to the Chinese government. Janyang protested and shouted
slogans like "May the Dalai Lama live thousands of years." He was taken
away one night, at the end of the education campaign.
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