Dharamshala Nov. 6 - Five Tibetans were given lengthy prison sentences ranging from 3 -10 years' imprisonment by the Kardze Intermediate People's Court in Dartsedo. The Tibetans were charged with offenses ranging from "endangering state security” to “disrupting public order and other crimes", Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.
Sources told the TCHRD that Kardze Intermediate People's Court on October 29 sentenced Sherab Sangpo, a 26-year old monk of Dongthog Monastery in to 6 years' imprisonment on charges for raising the banned Tibetan national flag during 26 March 2008 protest in Kardze.
“Sherab Sangpo was arrested by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials from the site of the demonstration on 26 March and was led to an undisclosed location until his court trial on 29 October,” the source added.
On the same day, another Tibetan named Loga from Kardze was given 3 years' jail term by the same court for his participation in the March protest in Kardze. There is no information whether Sherab Sangpo and Loga were allowed personal attorney to defend their cases in the court, noted the TCHRD.
On October 30, two other Tibetans named Ngoega, 53, from Serchu Village and Norbu Tsering, 49, from Drukhang Village, Kardze County, were sentenced to 8 and 9 years' imprisonment respectively for "endangering state security". The two had participated in a political demonstration on March 18 at the county headquarters.
During the court proceedings Ngoega retorted the judges' verdict saying, "we did not commit any crimes of destroying public properties, rather we distributed pamphlets for the Tibetan cause. I suffered torture, inhumane and degrading treatment at the hands of security personnel.”
According to source, Norbu Tsering was held incommunicado since his arrest on march 18 and there was no information on his whereabouts until his trial.
Although the Kardze Intermediate People's Court, in accordance with the Chinese Criminal Law, granted defendants the right to appeal within ten days of the sentence, the TCHRD said success of such appeals are almost non-existent especially for those involved in political 'crime'.
The court sentenced a fifth person from Sertha County, whose identity could not be ascertained at the moment, on October 28.
“There are hundreds of Tibetans who are still held without charges and at least 105 are known to have been sentenced to various prison terms so far in "TAR" and Tibetan areas outside the "TAR" for their participation in the series of protests across the Tibetan plateau since March this year,” TCHRD noted.