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Three Tibetans sentenced over self-immolations in Gansu

January 13, 2014

January 9, 2014 - Three Tibetan men have been ordered jailed for up to two years on charges of involvement in self-immolation protests against Chinese rule in Gansu province, sources in the region said.

The three —Dorje Rabten, Kalsang Jinpa, and Dorje Tashi—were sentenced on Jan. 2 by the Tsoe (in Chinese, Hezuo) city court in Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, according to a source in Tibet.

“They are currently detained in Sangchu prison,” in the county neighboring Tsoe, the source told RFA’s Tibetan Service, speaking on condition of anonymity earlier this week.

Rabten, of Setri village in Sangchu (Xiahe) county, was detained after the self-immolation of Tsepak Kyab in October 2012 in the nearby Sankhok town and sentenced to two years in prison “for alleged involvement” in his death, the source said.

Jinpa and Tashi, both from Sankhok, were each given an 18-month jail sentence over the self-immolation of Sangay Tashi in the same town a month later, he said.

“It is also reported that Dorje Rabten was given six months more than other two [because] Tibetans who were present in the courtroom whistled during his trial,” the source said.

Both of the self-immolators had died in their protests, sources said at the time, after calling for the return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959 following a failed national uprising against Chinese rule

A total of 125 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests since February 2009, with another six setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

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