10 Tibetans drew stiff jail terms at the end of June in China’s Gansu province after trying to obstruct building and construction of a slaughterhouse and requiring settlement for taken land in demonstrations that Chinese authorities stated had “disturbed social order,” RFA has actually discovered.
Founded guilty at the end of a two-day trial held from June 28 to 29 in Gansu’s Sangchu (in Chinese, Xiahe) county, the men were sentenced to terms varying from 8 to 13 years and offered fines of 50,000 to 70,000 yuan, Tibetan sources stated.
Amongst those sentenced, 2 monks from Sangchu’s Namlha abbey called Tashi Gyatso and Tsewang drew the heaviest charges, with both men sentenced to jail terms of 13 years and fined 70,000 yuan (U.S. $10,008) each, a Tibetan living in exile informed RFA’s Tibetan Service today.
“Both monks were members of the monastery’s democratic management committee, and had been appointed by local members of the community,” RFA’s source stated, speaking on condition of privacy and mentioning contacts in Sangchu.
“Along with the other eight defendants, they were arrested in 2019 after their failed attempt to block construction of a slaughterhouse and their demand for compensation” for Tibetans whose land has actually been considered the project, the source stated.
4 of the laypersons founded guilty– Nyingchak, Gyal-lo, Sonam Gyal, and Takthar Gyal– were sentenced to jail for 9 years and fined 50,000 yuan (U.S. 47,149) each, with the staying 4– Tenpa Gyatso, Tamdin Dorje, Tamdin Tsering, and Choepa Tsering– offered eight-year terms and fined 50,000 yuan, the source stated.
A tv record of the trial acquired by RFA revealed all accuseds pleading innocent to the charges of blocking federal government building and construction jobs and “causing social disturbances” made against them.
“The sentences given to us are unfair,” the monk Tashi Gyatso stated resolving the court, including that money provided to him and Tsewang in partial settlement by the Hui Muslim owners of the slaughterhouse had actually not been diverted by them for individual usage, however had actually been offered rather to their abbey.
“We haven’t broken any of the country’s laws. Why is the court sending us to prison?” he asked.
Another accused, Gyal-lo, pleaded lack of knowledge of any guidelines he may have broken, stating, “I am uneducated, as I didn’t attend school as a child.”
“But we worked to protect the interests of the monastery, and our services to the monastery are now being called illegal. We don’t believe we have done anything against the law. We only carried out our responsibilities according to the instructions given to us by the township government,” he stated.
“We appeal for clemency, as we are now all old,” he added.
Decision identified in advance
A regional Tibetan who went to the trial informed RFA the decision against the 10 men appeared to have actually been identified by authorities in advance.
“It is sheer theatrics to hold such a trial when the verdict has already been passed. This trial was a farce and a sham. The Tibetans did not receive justice,” stated the male, who asked for privacy for his safety.
After stopping working to obstruct building and construction of the slaughterhouse at Barka Thang area in Sangchu, regional Tibetans had actually objected over a number of years to require settlement for land lost to the project and damage to structures along a roadway being built, consisting of fractures in the wall of a regional restaurant, the source stated.
The implicated Tibetans varied in age from 50 to 70 years, and had actually appealed for clemency both throughout their interrogations and at trial, stating they had actually just represented the desires of regional homeowners to safeguard their land and defend their rights.
“Therefore, they launched their advocacy campaign,” he stated. “They feel strongly that they have not committed any crime, but the court disregarded their appeal and went ahead with its harsh sentences.”
Disputes over the project and the demonstrations had actually produced a rift in the Barka Thang neighborhood for a number of years, another source in exile stated, likewise mentioning contacts in the area.
“And there are many stakeholders involved, as the controversy is intricately connected with the interests of local Tibetans, Chinese officials, Chinese business owners, Chinese workers, and the Hui Muslims.”
“But in the end, it was the 10 Tibetans who bore the brunt of all the trouble caused by this controversial project,” he stated.
Advancement jobs in Tibetan locations have actually resulted in regular standoffs with Tibetans who implicate Chinese companies and regional authorities of pilfering money, incorrectly taking land, and interrupting the lives of regional people.
Numerous result in violent suppression and extreme pressure on the regional population to abide by the federal government’s desires, with demonstration leaders regularly charged and apprehended under cover of a Chinese campaign against so-called “underworld criminal gangs” in Tibetan locations.
Reported by Lhuboom. Equated by Dorjee Damdul. Composed in English by Richard Finney.