World Coalition protests against Tibet death sentences
Phayul[Wednesday, May 20, 2009 17:42]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, May 20: Worried by situation in Tibet, World Coalition Against Death Penalty has sent official letters to Chinese authorities to protest against the death sentences passed on five Tibetans involved in last year’s unrest against Chinese rule in Tibet, according to a report on its website.

The report said the coalition, which advocates for the universal abolition of the death penalty, acted after it was being alerted on the issue by its local members.

On 24 April 2009, the World Coalition sent an official letter to Chinese Minister for Justice Wu Aiying Buzhang and to Governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region Qiangba Puncog (Jampa Phuntsok) to protest against the death sentences pronounced against five Tibetans by the Municipal intermediary Court of Lhasa following the events of 14 March 2008, the report said.

The Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People's Court last month handed down death sentences to two Tibetan men and suspended death sentences to three others, including a 21-year old girl.

It was the first report of death sentences given out for last year’s unrest in Tibet that led to the most sustained uprising against Chinese rule in decades.

While demanding immediate adoption of a moratorium on the death sentences, the World Coalition recalled that no study could prove that Death Penalty is efficient against re-offence, it said.

“On the contrary, it is proved that the death penalty is discriminatory and targets above all the poor, minorities and the members of certain racial, ethnic and religious communities,” the report added.

According to the report, the World Coalition has yet to receive an answer from the Chinese authorities and is “exploring all means available to make its message and that of the world abolitionist community heard.”

The harsh sentences on Tibetans sparked angry responce from rights and Tibetan activist groups around the world.

Tibetan Government-in-exile in India condemned the death sentences, saying they were sentences were arbitrarily meted out without open and fair trial.

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, created in Rome on 13 May 2002, is an alliance of about 60 NGOs, bar associations, local bodies and unions. Every year of 10 October the world Coalition observes “World Day Against the Death Penalty”. Last year the group called on citizens around the world to take action to end executions in Asia to mark the day.