|CHINA UPHOLDS TIBETAN DEATH SENTENCES
|1. China Upholds Tibetan Death Sentences
By STEPHANIE HOO
BEIJING, Sunday, January 26, 2003 (AP) - A Chinese court on Sunday upheld the death sentence of a Tibetan convicted of a fatal bombing in a case that prompted the U.S. government to express concern about the fairness of his trial and the severity of his sentence.
The court also upheld a suspended death sentence on a Tibetan Buddhist leader in the same case, the government's Xinhua News Agency said.
The two men were convicted last month on charges of seeking independence for Tibet. They were charged in connection with a series of bombings in 2001 and last year that killed one person in the western province of Sichuan.
Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, 52, an influential leader of Tibetans in Sichuan, had been sentenced to death with a two-year suspension of execution. His appeal of that sentence was rejected Sunday, Xinhua said.
His aide Lobsang Dhondup, 28, had been sentenced to death with no suspension. He didn't appeal his sentence, but the verdict against him was nonetheless also upheld Sunday, Xinhua said.
Death sentences in China are often carried out immediately after the final verdict, while suspended death sentences are often commuted to long prison terms. An official at the Sichuan Provincial High People's Court, which upheld the sentences, refused to comment on the case.
The area is near the Tibetan border and has a large ethnic Tibetan population.
The convictions had prompted international outcry and focused attention on China's treatment of Tibetans seeking more autonomy from Beijing.
China says the two Tibetans confessed to their involvement in the bombings. But activists say they were mistreated in custody and did not receive a fair trial.
Their cases were raised last month during a visit to Beijing by Washington's top human rights official, Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner.
China has angrily rejected such appeals as interference in its affairs, but it occasionally releases political prisoners following foreign pressure.
Communist troops marched into Tibet in 1950, and Beijing says the region has been part of China for centuries.
The exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, has urged Tibetans to avoid violence. But militants opposed to Chinese rule have carried out several bomb attacks in the Himalayan region since the mid-1990s.
2. China Courts Rejects Tibetan Death Sentence Appeal
BEIJING, Sunday, January 26, 2003 (Reuters) - A Chinese court rejected the appeal of Tibetan monk Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche against a suspended death sentence on charges of setting off bombs and inciting separatism, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
It gave no details of the Sichuan Higher People's Court ruling on the appeal by the monk, who has protested his innocence in a tape Radio Free Asia said was made in his jail cell.
A suspended death sentence is usually commuted to life imprisonment in China.
Xinhua said Lobsang Dhondup, tried alongside the monk in December, had not appealed the straightforward death sentence imposed on him. It described Lobsang Dhondup as a farmer. Overseas human rights group say he is a religious teacher.
The U.S.-government backed Radio Free Asia quoted Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche as saying in a tape recording he had only heard about the bombings for which he was arrested.
One judge who decided the original case said the monk had confessed to five of the six explosions between 1998 and 2002 in the Tibetan-populated Garze area of the southwestern province of Sichuan, it said.
There has been sporadic violence in Tibet, where many people resent what they see as Chinese occupation since the People's Liberation Army marched in and imposed Communist rule in 1950.
3. Two Tibetans sentenced to death in SW China
Xinhua (New China News Agency) - state-run
CHENGDU, Jan. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The Higher People's Court of Sichuan Province in southwest China on Sunday rejected an appeal from one of two local residents who had been sentenced to death penalty and death penalty with a suspension of execution respectively.
Both defendants, A'an Zhaxi and Lorang Toinzhub, are natives of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze in Sichuan. The Intermediate People's Court of Garze held hearings on their criminal doings on Nov. 29, 2002.
On the basis of facts, the court on Dec. 2, 2002, gave A'an Zhaxi, a 52-year-old monk with Tibetan ethnic background, death sentence with a two-year reprieve for inciting the split of the country and scheming explosions.
Lorang Toinzhub, 28, a Tibetan farmer, was sentenced to death by the court for inciting the split of the country, scheming explosions, and unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition.
The intermediate court ascertained that the defendants had plotted explosions in public places for several times and given out leaflets that incited splitting the country and harmed the country's ethnic unity since the end of 2000.
From January 2001 to April 2002, Lorang Toinzhub detonated explosives and thrown off leaflets in four places including a downtown area of Kangding County and the Tianfu Square of Chengdu.One was seriously wounded and many others hurt in the explosions which also caused property loses of more than 800,000 yuan (96,400US dollars).
On Oct. 3, 2001, Lorang Toinzhub exploded the office building of the traffic police of Garze prefecture, killing one person and causing property loses of about 290,000 yuan (35,00 US dollars).
He was also found to have illegally possessed firearms and ammunition.
Evidences clearly showed that A'an Zhaxi and Lorang Toinzhub tried to sabotage the unity of the country and the unity of various ethnic groups. They ignited explosives in public places and engaged in crimes of terror. Both of them confessed their crimes.
According to the Criminal Law of China, the court ruled that they had committed crimes of inciting the split of the country and plotting explosions.
Lorang Toinzhub was sentenced to death and deprived of political right for life for committing crimes concerning explosions. He was given 12 years of imprisonment and deprived of political right for two years for inciting the split of the country. He was also rendered another three years of imprisonment for illegally possessing firearms and ammunition.
The court decided to impose death penalty against Lorang Toinzhub as a cumulative punishment for him.
A'an Zhaxi was sentenced to death penalty with a two-year suspension of execution and deprived of political right for life for committing crimes concerning explosions. He was also sentenced14 years in prison and deprived of political right for three yearsfor inciting the split of the country.
The court decided to impose death penalty with a two-year suspension of execution as a concurrent punishment for him.
The court did not hold an open hearing because some of the defendants' criminal acts were related to state secrets.
Lorang Toinzhub accepted the ruling and did not appeal. A'an Zhaxi appeal. The Sichuan Higher People's Court rejected his appeal in the second instance on Sunday.
In the first and second instances, A'an Zhaxi entrusted Chen Shichang and Yu Jianbo, two counsels from the Garze Prefectural Lawyers' Office, to defend on his side.
Lorang Toinzhub did not entrust a counsel for his defense. The Intermediate People's Court of Garze and the Sichuan Higher People's Court designated Kuai Qinghua and Liu Shijian, two lawyers fromthe same lawyers' office, to defend Lorang Toinzhub. Enditem