Tuesday, August 30, 2011

China: Sentencing of Tibetan Monk

A "free Tibet" protest is obscured by
Chinese flags. April 2008.
Office of the Spokesperson (State Department)
Question Taken at the August 29, 2011 Daily Press Briefing

Question: Do you have any comment on the Tibetan monk who was sentenced to 11 years in prison?

Answer: We are concerned by reports that a Chinese court has convicted and sentenced Drongdru, a Tibetan monk, for “intentionally killing” Rigzin Phuntsog, the young monk who self-immolated at the Kirti Monastery in March. The court sentenced Drongdru to 11 years in prison. It is unclear whether he was accorded the procedural rights to which he is entitled under China’s Constitution and laws and under international standards.

We urge the Chinese government to ensure transparency and to uphold the procedural protections and rights to which Chinese citizens are entitled under China’s Constitution and laws and under international standards.

The U.S. government repeatedly has urged the Chinese government to allow access to Tibetan areas of China for both journalists and diplomats so accurate information can be reported.

To resolve underlying grievances of China’s Tibetan population, we urge Chinese leaders to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tension and to protect Tibetans’ unique linguistic, cultural and religious identity.

Note: Communist China invaded the independent Tibet in 1950, crushing its army and annexing it as part of the PRC.  Tibet has since been forced to adhere to socialism and periodic brutal repression of peaceful protests.  The invasion and annexation of Tibet happened at the same time that the PRC sent its so-called People's Volunteer Army to fight for North Korea in the Korean War and to fight for the Viet Minh in the French Indochina War.

Image by Graeme Bartlett, used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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