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Four Tibetans arrested for “splitting the unity” of China

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Four Tibetan activists were sentenced to three to ten years in prison in China on 29 October. One of them was arrested as he demonstrated for Dalai Lama’s return, and is now charged of trying to split the “country’s unity”.
(Bangkok, 4 December 2007) In a trial on 29 October, four Tibetans from Sichuan province, the southwest of China, were sentenced to three to ten years in prison, according to a report by Tibetan Civil Human Rights Development1. The Chinese government claims that the activists tried to split the country’s unity.

Ronggye A’drak, 52, a father of 11 children, organised a peaceful demonstration on 1 August this year in Kardze, a Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province, requesting the Dalai Lama’s return. His arrest by the Lithang Public Security Bureau provoked protests from many Tibetans and people around the area. The military forces dispersed them by using tear gas and firing guns into the air, and also arrested a nephew of A’drak.

In the trial in Kardze Intermediate People's Court, Ronggye A’drak was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment and deprivation of political rights for four years for “inciting to split the country to undermine the country unity," and "severely disrupting the public order". His nephew, Adruk Lopoe, received ten years of imprisonment on charges of "colluding with foreign separatist force to split the country and distributing political pamphlets".

Two other people were sentenced to nine years and three years of presentment for "carrying out splittist activities".

There is no information available as to the location or physical condition of the activists since the sentence was made. In a press release, Tibetan Civil Human Rights Development calls for solidarity of international civil society to immediately release the four Tibetans and apply domestic and international norms with a fair re-trial.