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China sentences eight Tibetan student
Phayul[Wednesday, April 17, 2013 17:00]
Tibetan students of the Chabcha Sorig Medical School take to the streets to protest Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet on November 26, 2012.
Tibetan students of the Chabcha Sorig Medical School take to the streets to protest Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet on November 26, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, April 17: The Chabcha County People's Court has sentenced eight Tibetan students up to four years in prison for carrying out major protests against the Chinese government in November 2012 at Chabcha region of Tsolho, Eastern Tibet.

According to Dharamshala-based right group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), the eight students have been sentenced for "illegally holding demonstration".

The sentence was handed down on the eight students on 10 April 2013 with the charge of "causing harm to social stability".

The students are from Tsolho Vocational School in Gonghe County.

Sangye Bum was sentenced to four years in prison, while Kunsang Bum, Lhaten and Jampa Tsering were sentenced to three years and six months of imprisonment respectively. Wangyal Tsering and Choekyong Kyap were sentenced to three years and three months.

However, the identities of the two other Tibetans remain unknown. They were sentenced to three years and six months in jail.

On 26 November last year, over a thousand Tibetan students from the Chabcha Sorig Lobling School staged a major protest rally against the Chinese government, raising slogans calling for freedom, equality of nationalities, freedom of language, respect for truth, and re-establishment of governance.

Chinese armed forces cracked down heavily to break up the demonstration, injuring many young protesters and hospitalizing around 20 students.

The school was subsequently placed under complete lock down and the Chinese security forces barred students from meeting their parents and relatives.

The protest was triggered after local Chinese authorities distributed a ten-point political questionnaire to the students, critical of the self-immolation protests in Tibet and gave "patriotic education" sessions that contained disparaging remarks against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In December 2012, Chinese authorities arrested several Tibetan students in suspicion of leading and organizing the protest rally and monks for their role in sending out information of the Chabcha students' mass protest.

In 2010, more than 2000 students in Chabcha had protested against the Chinese government's plan to remove Tibetan textbooks from schools. Last month, thousands of students in Rebkong had carried out a massive protest demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.
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