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2 october 2012 001
Dharamshala: - In two different trials, Chinese Courts in eastern Tibet sentenced three Tibetan monks and one laic to imprisonment, with terms varying from seven to 11 years. The monks were being tried for disseminating information on self-immolation protests and Chinese oppression in the region, to the outside world.

"Ven. Lobsang Tsultrim, 19, and Ven. Lobsang Jangchub, 17, have been sentenced to 11 and eight years of prison term respectively," said Kanyak Tsering, media coordinator at Kirti Monastry's wing, in India.

"Sources state that the two young monks were suspected of helping with the protest of fellow Kirti monk, Gebe, 18, who self-immolated on March 10, 2012 protesting the Chinese rule in Tibet," said Tsering.

"They were arrested in March, and taken to an unknown location," Tsering told The Tibet Post International, citing sources from inside Tibet. "The whereabouts of the monks have been unknown since their arrest," he added.

Gebe's protest was the 27th of the now 52 self-immolation incidents - in protest of Beijing's oppressive rule in Tibet, and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland - that have taken place since February 2009.

In a similar judgement, the People's Middle Court in Barkham, also in eastern Tibet, sentenced Lobsang Tashi, 26, a monk from Kirti Monastery and Bu Thupdor, 25, a laic to seven and seven-and-a-half-year prison terms respectively. Both Tashi and Thupdor were detained in November 2011 for allegedly providing information on the situation in Tibet to the outside world.

Sources said that the families of the accused were notified by the Chinese court, two days before their trial, but weren't allowed to hire a lawyer. However, Tashi and Thupdor were allowed to meet their families for a few minutes.

They are now believed to be held in Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province, but, Tsering said, "There's still no information about them."

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