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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

TCHRD fears for the fates of two Tibetans sentenced to death

May 17, 2009

TCHRD
May 16, 2009

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
(TCHRD) expresses its serious concern for the
fates of two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and
Loyak, who were sentenced to death by the Lhasa
Municipal Intermediate People?s Court on 8 April 2009.

There is no information on whether the duos have
appeal to the higher people?s court for review
after the death sentence verdict by the Lhasa
Intermediate people?s court. If no appeal is
presented, then the sentence is automatically
review by the ?Tibet Autonomous Region? (?TAR?)
Higher People?s Court and submitted to the
Supreme People?s Court for approval. As the
intermediate period of review draws near, TCHRD
is seriously concern about the prospects of their
imminent execution as it was earlier reported
that the two ?have to be executed in order to
assuage the people?s anger? as quoted saying by
the court spokesman in the state media.

The Centre remains unconditionally opposed to the
use of the death penalty in all cases, as a
violation of the right to life and the right not
to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment. It should also be noted
that the death penalty has never shown to have a
special deterrent effect nor should state use it
to justify the wrong done by the defendant.

Since the court trial took place in complete
secret, almost nothing has been known of the
circumstances under which the defendants,
detained for more than a year, were tried. It is
highly doubtful whether the defendants received
anything remotely like international standard for
fair trial such as whether defendants were
adequately represented by defense lawyers of
their choice or to challenge the evidence brought
against them in the court. The absence of due
legal process is matter of great concern for the
Tibetans inside Tibet who continue to face
detention and are waiting farce trial.

TCHRD, therefore, appeals to the authorities of
the People?s Republic of China (PRC) to rescind
the death sentence of Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak,
and commute their death sentences. The Centre
also calls for the authorities to provide them
with an opportunity to be re-tried in a judicial
process that is more in tune with the
international standards which China claims she adheres to.

The series of protests that erupted across
Tibetan areas since last spring, saw hundreds of
Tibetans being detained arbitrarily, died,
disappeared and imprisoned many with harsh prison
sentences. According to TCHRD, there are at least
235 known cases of Tibetans having been sentenced
so far for varying prison terms. Of which 5
Tibetans were sentenced to death (three with
two-year reprieve), 10 Tibetans with life
imprisonment and around 130 Tibetans were slapped
with 10 years or more of jail terms. The Chinese
official statements over the past have revealed
only 74 Tibetans sentenced to various prison
terms in the ?Tibet Autonomous Region? (?TAR?)
for their involvement in the ?March 14 Lhasa
riot.? Ngaba, Sangchu, Kardze region in the
eastern part of Tibet in particular witnessed one
of the most sustained protests and the highest
number of arrest, however, the official Chinese
newspaper, Garze Daily, dated 15 May 2009
acknowledged only 28 Tibetans having been
sentenced so far in Kardze by the Kardze
Intermediate People?s Court. The Centre has
recorded at least 60 Tibetans from Kardze
receiving court sentences so far for their
participation in last spring protests.

This week China was re-elected for another
three-year term to the 47-members UN Human Rights
Council with promise of promoting and protecting
human rights. In addition, the Information Office
of the China?s State Council on 13 April 2009
published? ?the First Working Action Plan on
Human Rights Protection 2009-2010?, promising
citizens more legal protection, better
livelihoods and greater civil and political
rights that include rights of detainees and the
right to a fair trial. Though it was encouraging
that the government of the PRC had made the
effort to put the document out but China has
routinely failed to implement protection
enshrined in its own laws. Therefore, it is high
time China make sincere effort to respect, follow
and implement all the pledges made in the Action
Plan which includes death penalty and improvement
in judicial procedures for review.

Tashi Choephel Jamatsang (Mr.)
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
Top Floor Narthang Building
Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamsala
H.P. INDIA 176215
www.tchrd.org
Mobile- +91-9418122921
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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