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URGENT ACTION: Appeal against death sentences passed on two Tibetans PDF Print E-mail
On 8 April 2009, Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People's Court tried and sentenced five Tibetans behind closed doors in three separate cases related to arson attacks in March 2008 in Lhasa. Two of the five Tibetans were given death sentences - Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak.

Another two were given suspended death sentences with two year reprieves - Tenzin Phuntsok and Kangtsuk. Meanwhile a fifth Tibetan was given a life sentence - Dawa Sangpo. The information was published by Xinhua, the official state media agency of the Chinese government. Other trials involving Tibetans and the protests in Lhasa on 14 March 2008 are pending.

News has emerged of t
hree more Tibetans being sentenced. The Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People's Court issued a suspended death sentence to a 21-year-old woman from Norbu village, Dogra township in Sakya County known as Penkyi for starting fires in two downtown clothing shops on March 14. According to Chinese state media, the other two Tibetans convicted, one of whom also was also named Penkyi and the other Chimed, helped set a second fire that killed five of the shop's six staff. Penkyi, of Nyinmo, was sentenced to life imprisonment and Chimed was jailed for 10 years, the report said.

The Chinese media did not say when the sentences were delivered nor did it give other details of the defendants and their arguments.


Tibet Society condemns all these sentences and asks supporters to directly press the Chinese government on these cases.

Here are actions you can take:


Please write to Wu Aiying, China's Minister for Justice demanding that:
  • the death sentences be quashed with immediate effect
  • all five cases are impartially investigated with any further trials to be conducted openly and with due regard to international legal standards
  • that all cases related to events of March and April 2008 are given a suspension until a full and independent inquiry into events around these dates is held
  • that a full list of the names and whereabouts of all Tibetans still detained in relation to last years events is provided
  • that no prisoner is subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, they are granted the right to regular visits by family members, have access to lawyers of their choice and are given any necessary medical treatment needed.
You can use the following suggested text as a guide:


We are appealing to you to give urgent attention to the cases of Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, sentenced to death; Tenzin Phuntsok and Kangtsuk, sentenced to death with two years suspension; and Dawa Sangpo sentenced to life imprisonment. We understand that these trials were not conducted according to international judicial standards. 

We demand that you confirm whether the executions of Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak have been carried out or not. Further to this we urge you as the Minister of Justice to quash all the four death sentences with immediate effect and allow these cases to be impartially investigated with any further trials to be conducted openly and with due regard to international legal standards.

We also demand that all cases related to events of March and April 2008 are given a stay of execution until a full and independent inquiry into events around these dates is held and that you to provide a full list of the names and whereabouts of all Tibetans still detained in relation to last years events.

We also urge that no prisoner is subjected to torture or other ill-treatment and that they are granted the right to regular visits by family members, have access to lawyers or their choice and are given any necessary medical treatment needed.


Contact details for Chinese Minister of Justice:

Ms. WU Aiying Buzhang
Ministry of Justice
10 Nan Meng Street
Chaoyang District
Beijing 100020
People's Republic of China
Fax: (86) 1065 292 345
email:
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Letter of appeal - Death in Lhasa

The letter below by Vaclav Havel, Desmond Tutu amongst others, has been turned into a petition initially for MPs and other high profile people to lend their support to. Following on from the mass lobby for Tibet in March, this in an ideal opportunity to ask your MP to show his support for Tibet and to join an international appeal to the authorities of the People's Republic of China to rescind the decision to execute Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak. Please ask your MP to contact Tibet Society to let us know that they wish to add their name to the letter. Other public figures are also being encouraged to add their names and show support, please feel free to approach celebrities and other public figures and appeal to them to sign on.

Useful websites:

To find out who your MP is http://findyourmp.parliment.uk

To email your MP: www.writetothem.com

For further information please do contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Death in Lhasa

By Vaclav Havel, El Hassan Bin Talal, Desmond Tutu, Andre Glucksmann and Vartan Gregorian (Prague).

On 8 April, two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, were sentenced to death by the Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Lhasa. Both men were convicted of committing arson that caused death against Chinese-owned businesses. Another two Tibetan activists, Tenzin Phuntsok and Kangtsuk, received a suspended death sentence, and a third, Dawa Sangpo, was sentenced by the same court to life imprisonment.

These latest verdicts are the first death sentences meted out by Chinese courts to those who took part in protests that swept Lhasa and other Tibetan cities in the spring of 2008. Since these trials took place in complete isolation from the rest of the world, with no impartial observers or foreign journalists present, it is to be doubted, strongly, that the defendants received anything remotely like a fair trial in accordance with international judicial standards.

We therefore appeal to the authorities of the People's Republic of China to rescind the decision to execute these protesters, and to provide them with an opportunity to be re-tried in a judicial process that is more in keeping with the international standards that China says that it adheres to. And the first standard that must be met is that the trial, first of all, must be verifiable and open to international observation.

But beyond the grim fates of those sentenced by the Tibetan court to death or life imprisonment for the protests that took place a year ago, we are also concerned about the hundreds of other detained protesters who have yet to be tried by the Municipal Court in Lhasa. It is our belief that the recent death sentences could mark the onset of an avalanche of highly doubtful court rulings in Tibet, which could lead to a worrying number of executions in that tense and troubled region.

If China is to gain an international position of respect commensurate with its position in the world economy, as well as to benefit from its rise to pre-eminence among the world economic powers, it is vital that China's representatives in Tibet acknowledge the need for due legal process for all of its citizens, including its ethnic minorities.

Tied to that sense of due process of law is a call for the Chinese leadership to allow representatives of the international community to have access to Tibet and its adjoining provinces. For these provinces have now been, for the most part, cut off from international observation ever since the protests that racked Tibet last spring.

Only by making its rule in Tibet more transparent for the rest of the world can the government of the People's Republic of China dispel the dark shadows of suspicion that now hang over Tibet. Only by allowing an international presence to report, dispassionately and truthfully, on what is happening in Tibet, will China's government dispel the idea that its continued rule there means that even more severe human rights abuses will be inflicted on members of China's ethnic minorities.

The authors of this appeal are Vclav Havel, a former President of the Czech Republic; Prince Hassan Bin Talal, President of the Arab Thought Forum; Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Vartan Gregorian, a former president of Brown University and President of the Carnegie Council and Andr Glucksmann, a French philosopher.

For a list of signatories to date please click HERE and scroll down to the end of the letter.



Send a message to China's Supreme People's Court


On the website for China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) there is a feedback form for members of the public to fill in. The Supreme People's Court has the final say before a death sentence is carried out in China. Once the Court approves a death sentence the execution is usually carried out immediately. However, the Court has the power to reject a death sentence, which results in a retrial.

Step-by-step
  • Copy the mandarin text (if you don't have the appropriate language pack installed in your Operating System you should see small square symbols with letters and numbers in) below these instructions (not the English translation).
  • Fill in the boxes of the feedback form which looks like the table below. We've added the English translations for category names in the example below.
  • Paste the copied mandarin text into the comment box (do not include the English translation as this will take you over the 500 word limit)
  • Please be aware that any information provided will be logged by the Chinese Government, so only provide details that you are comfortable with. If necessary use aliases, though using a real email address would be helpful in the (unlikely) event that the SPC sends a reply. To send your message click on the left button (of the two buttons at the bottom of the form).


Text to copy and paste:

我敦促最高人民法院撤消拉萨市中级人民法院于2009年4月8日
对洛桑坚赞(Lobsang Gyaltsen)和洛亚(Loyak)的死刑判决。

他们的判决举世关注,我要求最高人民法院推翻这一决定。
若法院决定重审,我敦促审判依照国际准则,以公平和透明的方式进行。

公平审判权是一项基本的人权,也是刑事司法的基本组成部分。
中国1998年签署的《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》包含这项权利。


English translation:

I urge you to quash the death sentences of Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, who were sentenced on 8th April 2009 by the Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People's Court.

Their sentences have received world-wide attention and I call on the Supreme People's Court to overturn the decision. If, however, the Court decides to order a retrial, then I urge that the trial is held in a fair and transparent manner, in accordance with international standards.

The right to a fair trial is a fundamental human right and an essential component of the administration of criminal justice. This right is part of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which China signed in 1998.
 
 
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