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Tibetans Sentenced for Corruption Protest

June 19, 2012

A court in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture has sentenced two Tibetans from Ngaba County earlier this month, after they refused to accept houses built with government aid, according to sources. On 2 June 2012, the Ngaba County People's Court sentenced 40-year-old Pulten to 3 years imprisonment and 37-year-old Gyurko to 2 years prison term.

Tibetans in Adhue village refused to accept the keys to the small houses built with government aid because the Tibetan residents were required to pay 10,000 Yuan plus interest, for a total cost of  80,000 Yuan, although the housing was given to them as government aid. Local Tibetans said that no demand for money had been made at the beginning, and so they were unable to pay now.

The charges for Pulten and Gyurko's sentences are not known but they were arrested for not accepting the houses, said sources. Prisoners are not being held in Ngaba region these days, but are taken to distant places to serve their sentence.

On 14 April 2012, local Tibetans of Adhue village protested against official moves to publicly honor two local officials suspected by the local Tibetans of embezzling public funds for the housing project. When the Tibetans protested, they were beaten by ten truckloads of armed police, who had accompanied the officials. Nearly 100 Tibetans were injured. 15-20 Tibetans were arrested. TCHRD had earlier reported on the protest against suspected official corruption. For the full report, please visit: http://www.tchrd.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=209:tibetans-beaten-arrested-for-protesting-official-corruption&catid=70:2012-news&Itemid=162

On 1 May 2012, about 200 Tibetan women from different villages of Ngaba County, including Adhue and Gyade village, marched to the Ngaba County government office to demand the release of those arrested on 14 April. The Tibetan residents of Adhue village who were mostly farmers boycotted farming in protest against the continued detention of fellow villagers arrested on 14 April 2012. (For full report, please visit: http://www.tchrd.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=221:farming-boycott-continues-in-ngaba-village-against-detention-of-fellow-villagers&catid=70:2012-news&Itemid=162

Although, sources say that most of those arrested after the protest on 14 April 2012 have now been released, Pema of Sengge Tsang household in Peke village, Andu Township, who also refused to accept the government-built house, continues to remain in detention in Ngaba County town and has not been tried.

Disappeared Kirti Monk Sentenced

In another case, a Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County has been sentenced to eight years in prison with four years' deprivation of political rights. The Ngaba Prefecture Court in Barkham (Chinese: Maerkam) sentenced Lobsang Phuntsok this month.

The exact date of Lobsang's sentence and the charges are not known at this time.

Lobsang Phuntsok, aged 29, was arrested on 17 October 2011. His whereabouts remained unknown since his arrest.

Lobsang was taken to another place to serve his prison term soon after his trial.

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