Join our Mailing List

"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Eight monks imprisoned for bomb blast in Tibet: judge

October 17, 2008

AFP
October 16, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) -- Eight monks convicted of staging a bomb attack in
Tibet at the height of anti-China protests nearly seven months ago
have been sentenced to prison, one of them for life, a judge said Wednesday.

"They were convicted of causing the explosion at the government
building of Xiangpi township," Zhang Weilai, a judge at Chamdo
Intermediate Court in the east Tibetan prefecture where the blast
took place, told AFP by phone.

Xiangpi, or Gyanbe in Tibetan, is over 1,000 kilometres (620 miles)
east of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, where violence erupted on March
14 following four days of peaceful protests against Chinese rule of
the Himalayan region.

Tibetan monks were heavily involved in the unrest that quickly spread
to other areas of Tibet such as Xiangpi and neighbouring
Tibetan-populated regions of China.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, says over 400
Tibetans died in a government crackdown in Lhasa alone, but China has
reported police killing just one "insurgent" and blames Tibetan
"rioters" for the deaths of 21 people.

Zhang said one of the monks was sentenced to life in jail, but
declined to say what jail terms the other seven received.

Other than saying the monks did not appeal, Zhang gave no other details.

The London-based Free Tibet group, citing an unnamed source, said two
monks had been given life sentences, and the six others were jailed
for between five and 15 years.

The group said the monks were aged between 19 and 31.

China's state-run press had previously reported that the monks from
Thangkya monastery, or Tongxia in Chinese, had confessed to using
home-made explosives to bomb a government building on March 23.

However the Chinese press has given no details on the extent of the
damage to the building, or whether anyone was injured or killed.

Free Tibet said the monks had been denied access to family and legal
counsel after being detained.

But China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Tuesday insisted
the case had been handled according to the law.

"Anyone that engages in illegal criminal activities in China,
regardless of what nationality they are, or what religion they
follow, must be dealt with according to the law," Qin told reporters
when asked about the case.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank