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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?"

Three former political prisoners sentenced to varying prison terms

September 13, 2009

Phayul - September 11, 2009

Dharamsala - Three Tibetan men were sentenced to varying prison terms by a
court in Lhasa in October last year, the exile Tibetan government's website
said yesterday. The three were charged with passing on information to
'foreign forces' during the peaceful protests in Tibet's capital Lhasa last

Wangdue, Phuntsok Dorjee and Tsewang Dorjee - all former political
prisoners - were sentenced by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court.

Wangdue; aged 39, a resident of Taktse County under Lhasa Municipality,
received life imprisonment with deprivation of political rights all his
life. As a monk of Tsuglagkhang, he had already spent three years in Lhasa's
Sangyib prison for participating in a protest on 8 March 1989. According to
the exile Tibetan government, he had participated along with other inmates
in a 'peaceful' campaign in 1991 to mark the fall of Chamdo to PLA troops
for which his jail term was extended by four years. He was released from
Drapchi prison in 1999. Since then he worked with an NGO promoting public
awareness on HIV/AIDS in Lhasa.

Phuntsok Dorjee; 40, received nine years in jail and deprivation of
political rights for five years. A former staff of Gangjong guest house in
Lhasa, Phuntsok had earlier been sentenced in 1989 to ten years in jail for
involvement in anti China activities. However, his jail term was commuted
later to eight years for his service as a cook at the prison.

Tsewang Dorjee, in his forties, was sentenced to eight years in prison and
deprivation of political rights for five years. Born in Pasho County in
Chamdo Prefecture, Tsewang who is a thangka painter (Tibetan scroll art
painter) lived at Tsemon-Ling area in Lhasa. In March 1989, he was jailed
for three years in Sangyib prison for his participation in the "peaceful
protests" in Lhasa.

As of August 31, 2009, the exile Tibetan government puts the total deaths of
Tibetans since last year's protests at 223, injured at 1294, arrests and
detention at 4657, missing persons at 990 and sentenced at 371.
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