China executes Tibetan for pro-independence bombings (AP)
By MARTIN FACKLER, Associated Press Writer

January 26, 2003 11:25PM (EST)

SHANGHAI, China - Police in western China have executed a Tibetan for a string of bomb attacks in support of Tibetan independence, despite an international outcry over the fairness of his trial. Lobsang Dhondup, 28, was executed Sunday afternoon in Ganzi, a city near the Tibetan border in Sichuan province, immediately after a court upheld his original death sentence, an official at Ganzi Intermediate People's Court said Monday. She refused to give her name.

The Sichuan Provincial High People's Court also rejected an appeal by Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a 52-year-old senior Buddhist monk, and affirmed his suspended death sentence, the official said. A suspended sentence is usually commuted to life in prison.

The two men were convicted in December of seeking independence for Tibet and involvement in a series of bombings that killed one person.

While only Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche filed an appeal, the court affirmed the sentences of both men on Sunday, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

The case has raised protests among Tibetan activists and the U.S. government.

The top U.S. human rights official raised the men's cases during talks last month in Beijing. Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner expressed "deep concern" about the severity of the sentences and the possible lack of a fair trial.

China has angrily rejected such appeals as interference in its internal affairs.

Militants opposed to Chinese control of Tibet have carried out at least eight bomb attacks in the Himalayan region since the mid-1990s. Communist troops marched into the region in 1950, and Beijing says it has been part of China for centuries.

The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959 during a failed uprising against communist rule, has urged Tibetans to avoid violence, but some want more direct action.

Activists describe Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche as a community leader in Sichuan, which abuts Tibet and has a large ethnic Tibetan population.

The court official in Ganzi refused to tell how Lobsang Dhondup's execution was carried out, but China's usual method is by gunshot to the back of the head

2. Press Statement: re: Execution -- Students for Free Tibet January 26, 2003
For Immediate Release

Contact: John Hocevar (212) 358-0071 Thupten Tsering (347) 538-5362

China Executes Tibetan After Secret Re-Trial Tibetans and Supporters Demand Action and Answers

[New York] Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) is outraged to learn that Chinese authorities executed Lobsang Dhondup after a secret re-trial at the Sichuan Provincial Higher People’s Court. The court also upheld the death sentence passed down to Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, an influential Buddhist leader. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche had been sentenced to death with a suspension of two years and Lobsang Dhondup to immediate death in a trial at the Kandze Intermediate People’s Court in December, 2002, and both men had reportedly appealed their sentences.

“China’s actions cannot go unanswered,” said John Hocevar, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet. “The Chinese authorities misled the US State Department during the recent US-China human rights dialogue by failing to reveal the sweeping repression and arrests that took place in connection with this case. This is a slap in the face to anyone trying to dialogue with the Chinese government on human rights.”

The verdicts come unexpectedly. Just two days ago, the US Embassy in Beijing issued a strong statement of concern about the severity of the sentences for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Lobsang Dhondup, whom the Chinese authorities accuse of involvement in an explosion in Sichuan last year. The US Embassy also expressed disappointment that during the US-China Human Rights Dialogue in December the Chinese government had failed to inform the US government of an additional ten detentions made in connection to this case.

International outcry about the cases has been enormous. SFT members alone have sent almost 10,000 faxes and emails calling for fair and open trial proceedings for the men. Around the world, Tibetans and supporters have held demonstrations and called on their governments to intervene in a case they view as unjust.

“This should be a rude wake up call to the international community that the rule of law remains a foreign concept in Hu Jintao’s China,” said Thupten Tsering, of Students for a Free Tibet. “Why was the trial held in secret and why aren’t the Chinese authorities presenting any convincing evidence that either man was involved in a crime? Why were officials from the US Consulate in Chengdu denied access to the trial? Without meaningful action by world governments, there will be no justice for Tibetans living under Chinese occupation.”