Trials have opened in the case of the monk who died from self-immolation in Sichuan Province, AP reports:
The March 16 death of Rigzin Phuntsog, 16, was seen by fellow monks and observers as a political protest against China’s heavy-handed controls on Tibetan Buddhism and provoked a standoff between security forces and monks.
Authorities accuse two monks, Tsering Tenzin and Tenchum, of plotting, instigating, and assisting in the self-immolation. A third, Drongdru, is accused of moving and hiding the injured monk, preventing him from receiving emergency treatment for 11 hours and eventually leading to his death.
One of the monks went on trial on Monday and two more will follow on Tuesday, a clerk with the Maerkang County People’s Court in Sichuan province’s Aba prefecture said.
The clerk, who gave only his surname, Zhou, said he did not know which monk went on trial Monday nor how long the trials would last, although the outcomes in such cases are usually predetermined by authorities.