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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibetan Writers Sentenced

January 5, 2011

2010-12-31

Jail terms handed down without any representations.

Three Tibetan writers detained earlier this year by Chinese authorities
have been handed jail terms of three to four years for "inciting
activities to split the nation," according to sources in the region.

The three writers—Jangtse Donkho, Buddha, and Kalsang Jinpa—were tried
on Oct. 28 by the Aba [in Tibetan, Ngaba] Intermediate People's Court,
but the sentences were not handed down until Thursday.

"The three Tibetan writers were sentenced for three-to-four years in
jail by the Ngaba Intermediate Court on Dec. 30, 2010," said a source
from inside Tibet.

"Jangtse Donkho and Buddha were given four years and Kalsang Jinpa was
sentenced to three years in prison," the source said.

Clapped hands

The sentences were handed down without any representations by the
defendants or their family or legal counsel, the source added.

"None of the Tibetan writers or their lawyers or family members were
allowed to speak in the court at the time of verdict," the source said.

"When the judge ordered all in the court to rise for the verdict, all
three did not comply and remained seated."

When the judge announced that Jangste Donkho would receive a jail term
of four years, he clapped his hands, the source added.

"This could be a sarcastic gesture against the judgement," the source
said. "The other two remained silent."

The three men have 15 days to appeal the sentence. They were first
detained in June and July, and were charged primarily because of
articles they wrote about the 2008 Tibetan

protest movement in a local newsletter, Shar Dungri ("Eastern Snow
Mountain"). Each of the men pleaded not guilty during the trial, which
lasted half a day.

Buddha had earlier spoken in court in fluent Chinese to say that
articles of the kind that he and the other men were accused of writing
were also published by Han Chinese.

He said the punishment handed down to the three writers was biased
because of their ethnicity, accusing the authorities of perpetrating
"injustice among different nationalities."

Hampered

The other men spoke in Tibetan in their own defense, but witnesses said
they were hampered by poor interpreting.

China has jailed scores of Tibetan writers, artists, singers, and
educators for asserting Tibetan national identity and civil rights in
the two years since widespread protests swept the region, according to a
report released earlier this year by the Washington- based International
Campaign for Tibet (ICT).

Reported by Chakmo Tso for RFA's Tibetan service. Translated by Karma
Dorjee. Written in English by Luisetta Mudie.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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