Following the sentencing in Sichuan of monk Lorang Konchok and his nephew for inciting eight people to commit self-immolation, a court in Gansu handed out punishments to six others accused of involvement in one of the protests. Four received prison sentences of seven to twelve years for intentional homicide, having obstructed police efforts to take away Togye Rinchen after he set himself ablaze last October. Chinese authorities claim that this stopped him from receiving life-saving medical aid, which according to a legal opinion issued in December constitutes murder. Activist groups, on the other hand, have accused police of holding surviving self-immolators for days or weeks without treatment for their burns. The two remaining defendants received three and four year sentences for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” nearby.
At The Wall Street Journal, Josh Chin reported on the wave of protests and the two sentences handed down in Sichuan:
A total of 86 Tibetans, mostly monks and nuns, have set themselves on fire in protest against Beijing’s policies since the start of 2012, according to a Jan. 25 statement issued by the Tibetan government in exile. Of the 99 self-immolations since 2009, 83 have been confirmed to be fatal, Tenzin Lekshay, a press officer for the Tibetan exile administration said last week, saying the rest were untraceable.
Mr. Sangay, who was in New Delhi to attend a four-day gathering over the Tibetan self-immolations, said Chinese authorities had failed to realize that their “repression of the aspirations of Tibetans” was what led to protests. “The solution really lies in a peaceful and transparent dialogue process,” he said.
[…] The sentences handed down Thursday are the “most severe imposed on people accused of inciting self-immolation,” said Nicholas Bequelin, senior researcher in the Asia division of Human Rights Watch.
[…] “This is all part
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