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11august20094Dharamshala: According to Phuntsok Norbu, a Tibetan monk who lives in Dharamshala, the Chinese court in Kardze County in eastern Tibet just sentenced a Tibetan man to five years in jail for his involvement in a peaceful protest against the "Beijing Olympic Torch rally in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital" on 21 June 2008.

Norbu states that Dra-gu, or Sanggye Tashi, from Khashul village, Karze, was sentenced to five years in jail by the Kardze Intermediate People's Court around 3 August 2009. He reports, "Sangye Tashi was arrested on 21 June 2008 after he was protesting in Karze, carrying a white banner with the phrase, "Free Tibet", with two Tibetan national flags painted on his face, distributing documents with his nine points or demands for opposing the Chinese Olympic Torch rally in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa last year.

The fact that Sanggye Tashi was detained in June 2008 and only received his sentence on 3 August 2009-meaning that he was held in prison for over a year without charges-is a matter of great concern and was a clear violation of both the Chinese constitution and international laws concerning habeas corpus, or the right to a just and speedy trial.

On 4 August, a Chinese court in Jodha county, Karze, sentenced three more Tibetans to jail terms of two years each without announcing what any specific charges.

Since March 2008 over 220 Tibetans have been killed, 1,294 injured and 290 sentenced, more than 5,600 were arrested or detained and over 1,000 disappeared after the Chinese armed military deadly cracked down in all parts of Tibet. Newly minted warrants and ramped up security forces make life increasingly more difficult for Tibetans to live inside of Tibet. China's human rights violations are swept under the "rug" of propaganda because foreign journalists are highly restricted throughout Tibet.

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