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Four Tibetans sentenced, another disappeared in Kardze, Tibet

January 21, 2009

TCHRD PRESS RELEASE:
Date: 20 January 2009
 
The Kardze Intermediate People's Court sentenced four Tibetans, including two nuns, to varying prison terms and the status
of a disappeared woman remains unknown, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights
and Democracy (TCHRD).
 
Two nuns identified as Tashi Tso, 26 years old and Dhungtso, around 20 years old of Kardze Ghema Draggo Nunnery were
recently sentenced by the Kardze Intermediate People's Court to 2 and a half and 2 years jail term respectively for their
involvement in 18 June 2008 protest in Kardze County. The two, despite enormous restrictions imposed on the movement of the
people following mass protests in Kardze areas, were able to slip the security forces by showing a medical checkup note that
they procured earlier from the local authorities. Under the pretext of going for medical checkup, the two nuns ran to the
County headquarters where they later staged a peaceful protest calling for freedom, human rights and swift return of the
Dalai Lama to Tibet. The County Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials at the site of the protest detained the two
immediately. Tashi Tso was born to Lobsang Tsundue (father) and Yeshi Wangmo (mother) at Lamgong Village, Thingka Township,
Kardze County, Kardze "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP'), Sichuan Province whereas Dhungtso was born to Druknyaltsang
family in Thingka Township, Kardze County. The exact date of their sentencing and charges were not yet known.
 
Similarly, a 20-year-old lady, Jampa Dickyi from Jokhangnang Village, Thingka Township, Kardze County, Kardze "TAP," Sichuan
province was sentenced to two years' jail term for her participation in 31 May 2008 protest in Kardze County.
 
According to sources, following their court sentences, the aforementioned three convicted Tibetans were transferred to a
prison in Chengdu, the provincial capital, to serve their sentences.
 
In another case, on 17 November 2008, the Kardze Intermediate People's Court sentenced a 32-year-old Yeshi Dorjee to four
years' jail term and deprivation of political rights for two years. Yeshi Dorjee, a monk of Kharnang Monastery in Kardze
County was detained for his involvement in a peaceful demonstration and distribution of leaflets on 12 June 2008 in Kardze
County.  
 
Yigha- Disappeared since March 2008
Apart from court sentences, the Centre had documented numerous cases of enforced disappearance of Tibetans following mass
protests across the Tibetan plateau since 10 March 2008. Among the latest case to emerge according to reliable sources is,
Yigha, a 27-year-old, originally hailed from Rongtsa, Kardze County in Sichuan Province and a resident of Karma Kusang area
of Lhasa city who had disappeared since 14 March 2008 unrest in the capital. His mother, Tsering Khando was not able to
trace him since his disappearance from Lhasa and there has been no information on his present status and whereabouts.
 
Small and sporadic protests against Chinese rule in Kardze Tibetan areas (a part of what Tibetans know as Kham) of Sichuan
Province continue to take place despite a widespread and systematic crackdown on dissent.
 
Government plans to foil  Tibetans' mourning during the Tibetan New Year
According to reliable sources, the local Chinese authorities in the recent times were providing monetary allowance of 500
Chinese Yuan to every family in Kardze, except for those whose members were involved in recent protests, to celebrate the
upcoming Tibetan New Year (Losar 25-27 February 2009) which many Tibetans both in exile and in Tibet are planning to skip to
mourn the killings of Tibetans in the year 2008. At the same time, government subsidies earlier provided to farmers were
also scrapped to those whose family members were involved in protests in the area. The latest ploy of authorities, by
providing money and financial subsidies to celebrate Tibetan Losar, was made in contrary to the mood of the people who
witnessed brutal crackdown by the Chinese security forces for making demands which many Tibetans had long aspired.
 
The TCHRD strongly condemns the sentencing of the four Tibetans as their freedom to opinion and expression does not violate
any of the constitutional components of Chinese law. Since their activities constitute nothing more than an expression of
their opinion, thought and exercise of their basic human rights peacefully, TCHRD calls upon the Chinese authorities to
release them unconditionally. Similarly, TCHRD is gravely concerned for the fate of Yigha and hundreds of other Tibetans who
have disappeared since the major protest that swept Tibet last year.  
 
NB: For picture of Yeshi Dorjee and Tashi Tso visit www.tchrd.org
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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