by Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)
Tibetans and Supporters Demand Action and Answers
New York – Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) is outraged to learn that Chinese authorities executed Lobsang Dhondup after a secret re-trial at the Sichuan Provincial Higher People’s Court. The court also upheld the death sentence passed down to Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, an influential Buddhist leader. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche had been sentenced to death with a suspension of two years and Lobsang Dhondup to immediate death in a trial at the Kandze Intermediate People’s Court in December, 2002, and both men had reportedly appealed their sentences.
“China’s actions cannot go unanswered,” said John Hocevar, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet. “The Chinese authorities misled the US State Department during the recent US-China human rights dialogue by failing to reveal the sweeping repression and arrests that took place in connection with this case. This is a slap in the face to anyone trying to dialogue with the Chinese government on human rights.”
The verdicts come unexpectedly. Just two days ago, the US Embassy in Beijing issued a strong statement of concern about the severity of the sentences for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Lobsang Dhondup, whom the Chinese authorities accuse of involvement in an explosion in Sichuan last year.
The US Embassy also expressed disappointment that during the US-China Human Rights Dialogue in December the Chinese government had failed to inform the US government of an additional ten detentions made in connection to this case.
International outcry about the cases has been enormous. SFT members alone have sent almost 10,000 faxes and emails calling for fair and open trial proceedings for the men. Around the world, Tibetans and supporters have held demonstrations and called on their governments to intervene in a case they view as unjust.
“This should be a rude wake up call to the international community that the rule of law remains a foreign concept in Hu Jintao’s China,” said Thupten Tsering, of Students for a Free Tibet. “Why was the trial held in secret and why aren’t the Chinese authorities presenting any convincing evidence that either man was involved in a crime? Why were officials from the US Consulate in Chengdu denied access to the trial? Without meaningful action by world governments, there will be no justice for Tibetans living under Chinese occupation.”
John Hocevar (212) 358-0071