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China sentences monk to six years in prison over false self-immolation charges

January 6, 2014

January 3, 2014 - A Chinese court has sentenced Gedun Gyatso, a Tibetan monk from Bora Monastery, to six years in prison for his alleged role in the self-immolation of Sungdhue Kyab on 2 December 2012, according to a human rights organisation based in Dharamshala.

The Sangchu County People’s Court pronounced the sentence more than a year after Gedun Gyatso’s arrest in December 2012.

“Gedun Gyatso had refused to accept the charges imposed on him. Even during the trial, he stood adamant that he was not guilty of the charge. But the sentence was passed in spite of it,” said TCHRD quoting a source from the region.

 

Gedun Gyatso, 47, was first arrested along with four other monks of Bora monastery under false charges of preventing the police from extinguishing fire on Sungdhue Kyab’s body.  The other four accused were released separately after a few months but Gedun Gyatso remained missing till the six-year prison sentence was imposed on him on 10 December 2013.

 

Chinese authorities kept Gedun Gyatso in custody for over a year as he refused to accept the charges levelled against him, the source said. Gedun Gyatso was born in Lhabun Thangri Gapma village in Bora Township. His mother Sonam Tso is over 80 years old and had waited for over a year for news about her son.

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