Death sentences raised in Parliament
[28 October 2009] Parliamentary questions and Early Day Motions on Tibetans sentenced to death, including Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, who were executed on 20 October.

In April 2009, the Chinese media reported that following trials in the Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, death sentences had been meted out to five Tibetans. Two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, each received a death sentence without reprieve, three further Tibetans, Tenzin Phuntsok, Kangtsuk and Penkyi from Sakya County, each received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve.

In Parliament questions were immediately raised and Kate Hoey tabled an EDM condemning the sentences and questioning if internationally recognised due legal processes were followed in the trials. On 20 October 2009 Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak were executed in Lhasa. In condemnation of these judical executions, on 27 October Harry Cohen, Chair of the All Party Parliamntnary Group for Tibet, with cross party support, tabled EDM 2150: Executions in Lhasa, Tibet, 20 October 2009.
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EDM 2150: EXECUTIONS IN LHASA, TIBET, 20 OCTOBER 2009

Tabled on 26.10.2009 by Harry Cohen
That this House is shocked and saddened by the news of the deplorable judicial executions of Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak in Lhasa on 20 October 2009; fully supports the Minister of State's condemnation of these executions and the doubts expressed in his Statement on the lack of due legal processes in these cases; calls on the Government urgently to follow up its concerns about lack of due process; further urges the Government to state clearly what measures it will take to ensure the Chinese government reviews the cases of those who remain under sentence of death for their alleged involvement in last year's unrest; and further calls on the Government to obtain clarification on reports that two further Tibetans were executed at the same time and, if the report is verified, under what legal processes these executions were carried out since there is no information on any other Tibetans having received death sentences without reprieve.
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Parliamentary Questions


18 May 2009 Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs … what reports he has received on the compliance with international standards of the trials of individuals arrested in connection with the disturbances in Tibet in March 2008.

Bill Rammell:
We have received a number of reports from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) stating that the trials of those connected with the disturbances in Tibet in March 2008 were not compliant with international standards, and that the evidence against the individuals concerned was unsound and the convictions therefore unsafe. We have consistently expressed our concern at the need for proper due process for all those detained, and our belief that any trials should be conducted justly, fairly and transparently. The fact that independent observers were not allowed at these trials means that we have been unable to verify that the human rights of the defendants were respected, and that the trials were free from political interference. This, together with the reports from NGOs, does give us real cause for concern, as does the verdict of the death penalty, to which the UK is opposed in principle. As a consequence, and working closely with our EU counterparts, we are urging the Chinese authorities not to carry out the sentences imposed on those convicted.

23 April 2009 Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Chinese authorities to seek to halt the death sentences recently imposed upon certain Tibetan individuals; if he will make an assessment of whether the judicial process which resulted in these death sentences was in accordance with international standards; and if he will make a statement.

Gillian Merron:
We have consistently appealed to the Chinese Government to ensure fair trials in accordance with international standards for those individuals arrested in connection with the disturbances in Tibet in March 2008. We continue to make clear our abolitionist stance on the death penalty and to urge the Chinese authorities to reduce its scope and application.


EDM 1373: DEATH PENALTY IN TIBET
Tabled on 28.04.2009 by Kate Hoey  127 signatories (to 27 October 2009)
That this House opposes the use of the death penalty; condemns the recent imposition of the death penalty by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court on Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, having found them guilty of arson attacks in Lhasa in March 2008 which led to confirmed deaths; further condemns the recent imposition of the death penalty, each with a two year reprieve, by the same court on Tibetans Tenzin Phuntsok, Kangtsuk and on a 21-year-old Tibetan woman, Penkyi, also for arson attacks in Lhasa in March 2008, which led to confirmed deaths; is concerned that evidence against these individuals is unsound, with one of the convicted found guilty on the basis of a confession only months after the UN Committee Against Torture concluded that China regularly uses torture as a means of extracting confessions in criminal proceedings; is further concerned that the trials of those named above were not conducted in accordance with judicial standards and that the death sentences passed are therefore unsafe; calls on the relevant Chinese authorities to rescind the aforementioned death sentences and to provide unfettered access to Tibet and all Tibetan-populated regions, including court proceedings, for journalists, consular staff based in Beijing and independent observers; and further calls on the British Government publicly to raise its concerns regarding the cases with the Chinese government.
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Useful addresses

David Miliband
Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH
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Ivan Lewis
Minister of State
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH
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Prime Minister Gordon Brown

10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AH




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