November 20, 2008

Chinese Power Monsters Go Ballistic--55 More Tibetans Go To Jail

China sentenced 55 Tibetans as the 8th round of talks began
The Tibet Post International
China sentenced fifty-five Tibetans who took part in the March protests against Chinese rule in Lhasa, Tibet on 5 November 2008 as representatives of the estranged Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama took part in the eighth round of talks with China in Beijing.
Pema Tsewang, Chinese-appointed vice chairman of the regional government for Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), announced the sentencing during a meeting with Michael Andrew Johnson, visiting member of the Australian House of Representatives.
"Following the violence, police detained 1,317 people, of whom 1,115 were subsequently released. The rest stood trial,” said Tsewang, according to the official Xinhua news agency reported 5 November 2008.
This is the overall number given since the government began sentencing people for their roles in the peaceful demonstrations in Lhasa Tibetan capital, on March 14.
The Chinese government ruthlessly cracked down on peaceful Tibetan demonstrators across Tibet leaving 218 Tibetans dead, 1290 injured and 6705 arrested or detained since 10 March 2008.
According to state-controlled Chinese media, "rioters torched 120 houses and 84 vehicles and looted 1,367 shops, causing a direct economic loss of about USD 47 million. 18 civilians and one police officer died and 382 civilians and 241 police were injured."
Previous reports from the Chinese government said 30 people had been convicted of arson, robbery, disrupting public order and attacking government offices, among other crimes, as of April 29. Their sentences ranged from three years to life. [my bold] [This reminds me that not so long ago some America citizens were so frustrated and outraged by the murder of Rev. Martin Luther King that they took it out on their own communities.]
Chinese official news agency "Xinhua" did not elaborate on the length of prison terms awarded to the fifty-five or on what charges their convictions took place. It is unknown if they had legal representation. The sentences of the other 147 people who stood trial are also unknown.
Civil rights groups and international communities condemned the arbitrary detention of Tibetans for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and opinion to voice their grievances with China.

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