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Three monks imprisoned for assisting self-immolation PDF Print E-mail
[10 July 2012] The Chinese authorities have handed down sentences of between nine and 11 years imprisonment to three monks for instigating the self-immolation of another monk. The monks were accused of helping Damchoe Sangpo who died after self-immolating on 17 February.

According to Radio Free Asia, all three monks were from the same monastery as Damchoe Sangpo (pictured right), Bongthak monastery in Themchen (Chinese: Tianjun) county, Tsonub (Ch: Haixi) prefecture in Qinghai province.

The Director of Bongthak monastery, Venerable Jamsem, was sentenced to nine years, whilst two other monks, Khendup and Samgyal, received 11 and 10 years respectively. All three were accused of
"instigating" Damchoe's self-immolation. The exact date of the sentencing and further details of the court case are not yet known.

In addition, another Tibetan in Themchen is reported to have been arrested for organising a petition calling for all the monks detained by the Chinese authorities, following the February immolation, to be released. It is believed at least 10 monks remain in detention. Local sources say that the authorities have told the monks they will only be released if they agree to leave the monastery and disrobe. Sources also say that the majority of monks from Bongthak have left the monastery following pressure from the authorities.

Damchoe Sangpo's self-immolation on 17 February came after he had objected to the presence of Chinese security forces at Bangthok monastery and the enforced cancellation of a religious festival. Damchoe set himself on fire near the grounds of the monastery and died shortly afterwards.

Further reading: RFA
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