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China clamps down on protests; harsh sentences for Drango protestors PDF Print E-mail
[4 May 2012] The Chinese authorities have issued new directives in an effort to quell protests in Tibet. As well as harsh punishment for those engaged in "splittist" activities, warnings have been given against spreading information about "separatist" activities and cash incentives are being offered to informants. In Kardze, 17 Tibetans have received prison sentences for involvement in a protest in Drango in January, one of whom received a life sentence.

China to "strike hard" against "splittists"
Detention of monks 2008An official Chinese government directive from Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province (Tibetan area of Amdo), posted on 9 March 2012, calls for a hard-line approach to stop Tibetans from protesting. The document, obtained by International Campaign for Tibet, warns that officials will strike hard on Tibetans who engage in acts that "which seriously harm national security and disrupt social stability, undermine national unity".

As well as protesting against the Chinese governemnt, other acts which are deemed "illegal and criminal" include speeches, writings, drawings and films that aim to "split the nation"; promoting, paricitpating in or donating to "illegal organisations"; and, distributing harmful information over the phone and via social networking sites and the internet.

The directive states that anyone who reports such criminal activities to public security organs will receive a minimum reward of 5,000 yuan (about 500).

According to Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, authorities in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi), Sichuan are attempting to restrict the activities of Tibetan non-governmental organisations (NGOs). On 26 April an order was issued whereby all NGOs had to register with the authorities or they would be declared illegal. However, only NGOs meeting specific criteria would be allowed to register. It is feared that many local NGOs, set up to meet the welfare needs of local communities, will be under threat from the new regulation.

Heavy prison sentences for Drango protestors
The Kardze Prefecture Intermediate Court in Sichuan has sentenced 17 Tibetans to imprisonment for their involvement in protests in Drango county on 23 January. Sonam Lhundup was sentenced to life imprisonment whilst the others received terms ranging from 20 months to 13 years. Details, such as the exact charges and whether due legal processes were followed, are not yet known.

The protest in Drango
(Ch: Luhuo), which included monks, farmers and nomads, called for an end to a security crackdown in the area. Three Tibetans were killed when Chinese police opened fire on the crowd. An unknown number of Tibetans were arrested following the protest.

Ten Tibetans were sentenced on 26 April: Sonam Lhundup - life imprisonment; Kuntho - 13 years;  Jebay  - 12 years; Kundup - 11 years; Wangchen Tsering - 9 years; Choenam - 3 years; Azi Shopo - 3 years; Phurwa Tsering - 2 years; Wangtse - 1 year and 9 months; and, Nyendak - 1 year and 8 months.

A further seven Tibetans have also been sentenced (date unknown): Sonam Dhargyal - 10 years; Pema Woesel - 5 years; and five Tibetans, as yet not identified, received sentences between 10 and 13 years.

Further reading:
ICT I TCHRD (NGO restrictions) I TCHRD (sentences) I Tibet Society (Drango protest)
Call on British government to take action on Tibet

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