January 27, 2003: Canada-Tibet Committee condemns China for the execution yesterday (26 January) of Lobsang Dhondup, who had been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a bomb blast in Chengdu in April 2002. This is the first known execution of a Tibetan for offences linked to political activities for as long as a decade. Canada-Tibet Committee has pledged to demonstrate against China's action, and is demanding that the Canadian Government hold China to account for misleading information provided about these cases.
"China has once again demonstrated that it has no respect for the international community's concern about Tibet." said Thubten Samdup, President of the Canada-Tibet Committee. "The secrecy and haste in which Lobsang Dhondup has been executed shows that Beijing is determined to quash what it calls 'separatism', and raises legitimate cause for doubt over China's sincerity in moving towards dialogue over the future of Tibet."
According to foreign news agencies, an unnamed official at the Kardze Intermediate People's Court, Sichuan Province said that Lobsang Dhondup was executed on Sunday, immediately after the court upheld the original death sentence passed on 10 December 2002. The Sichuan Provincial High People's Court has also rejected an appeal by Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a prominent Buddhist leader, and affirmed his suspended death sentence, the official said. Both men were accused of involvement in a bombing incident in Chengdu last April. Although detailed information about the cases is scarce, there are grounds for serious doubt about the substance of the allegations, the fairness of the trials and the treatment of the prisoners. Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche has reportedly been defiant throughout the process and repeatedly expressed his support for the Dalai Lama.
Mystery surrounded the legal proceedings which led to the execution. Conflicting reports suggested that a 'retrial' had started and been abruptly terminated on 10 January, but the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the EU that proceedings were ongoing and due to the complexity of the cases it would be some time before the verdicts were known. The original trial had been in a public court but the appeal was behind closed doors, apparently because the cases involved 'state secrets'. The death sentences had aroused international and domestic concern, including from prominent Chinese academic Wang Lixiong, who had publicly expressed the need for a fair trial. China also withheld information from the US/China dialogue about a number of other arrests connected to the cases.
Thubten Samdup on 514-867-6770