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Exiled Tibetans' Vigil Condemns China's Execution of Tibetan Prisoners

October 26, 2009

The Tibet Post International
October 23, 2009

Dharamshala -- Exiled Tibetans, local Indians and
foreign visitors held a candlelight vigil in
Dharamsala, India, last night, in response to the
Chinese government's execution of four Tibetan
prisoners near Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, on Tuesday.

The four were convicted in April on charges of
"starting fatal fires" during protests in Lhasa in March 2008.

Members of yesterday's 600-strong vigil displayed
grief and anger, calling for Tibetan freedom and
an end to China's genocide of Tibetans. Around 20
Indian and foreign media covered the event, which
closely followed the end of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's October teachings.

The vigil was organised by the Tibetan Youth
Congress, the Tibetan Women's Association, Gu Chu
Sum Movement of Tibet, the National Democratic
Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet, who
issued a joint statement calling the executions
"an affront to international judicial standards"
which was "clearly politically motivated."

Under Chinese law, death penalty cases should be
reviewed by the Supreme People's Court, but the
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
said it was unclear whether the victims were
allowed to appeal their cases there.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Tibetan
Parliament-in-Exile in Dharamsala said, "Since
the uprisings in Tibet last year, the Chinese
communist regime has been carrying out random
arrests, imprisonments, torture and summary
executions of Tibetans without the due processes
of law. We strongly oppose such unlawful acts and
call upon the government of China to put a stop to them forthwith."

Yesterday, Chemi Yungdrung, President of the
National Democratic Party of Tibet, commented
that, "Although the Chinese government insists
that the closed-door trials had been open and
fair, we don't see any strand of truth in their
defensive statements. The Tibetans are denied the
right to find a lawyer of their choice."

The worldwide response to the executions included
a call from the Canada Tibet Committee for
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to
postpone his long-rumoured visit to China.
"Canada can't stand up for human rights when
Beijing sees us on our knees begging for trade,"
said Executive Director Dermod Travis.

Meanwhile in the UK, Labour Party MP Kate Hoey
has tabled a parliamentary motion calling for an
inquiry into the UK government's failure to
secure human rights improvements in Tibet.

In Dharamsala, Tibetan Youth Congress President
Tsewang Ringzin requested that "US President
Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd bring up this dire issue during their upcoming visits to Beijing."

Following the 2008 uprising in Tibet, over 1,300
Tibetans remain in prison, many awaiting trial.
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