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China sentences 8 Tibetans for protesting the death of monk of Ragya monastery

August 17, 2009

CTA
August 14, 2009

Dharamshala: The Intermediate People's Court in
Machen County in Golog Tibet Autonomous
Prefecture (incorporated into China's Qinghai
Province) has sentenced eight Tibetans, including
six monks of Ragya monastery and two lay men, to
imprisonment with terms varying from 6 months to 7 years on 13 August.

The six monks of Ragya monastery (with prison
terms in bracket) were identified as Palden
Gyatso, aged 40, disciplinarian of Ragya
Monastery, (7 years); Tsultrim, former
disciplinarian (4 years); Sangpo, former
treasurer (3 years); Jamyang Khedup, secretary of
the board of directors (2 years); Gedun Ralo, (1
year) and Sherab Sangpo (2 years).  The two lay
men - Hulo and Yangkyab - were sentenced to
imprisonment for 2 years and six months respectively.

They took part in a protest against the Chinese
authorities over a death of fellow monk of Ragya
Monastery named Tashi Sangpo. Tashi Sangpo
hoisted the banned Tibetan national flag and
distributed pamphlets at Ragya monastery on 10
March this year. He was arrested with a group of
monks and interrogated. On 21 March, he took the
entire responsibility on himself and appealed for
the release of other monks. Later in the evening,
he committed suicide by jumping into the Machu
river to evade arrest by the Public Security Bureau.

Following the incident, a large number of local
Tibetans held peaceful demonstration in front of
the police station and demanded the authorities
to stop killing Tibetans. On 22 March, the police
arrested around 100 monks, including Palden Gyatso.

The whereabouts of two monks - Lobsang Dhargye
and Mengag Dorje - who were arrested on the same day still remain unknown.
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