The situation in Tibet has taken a depressing turn for the worse with news that a group of Tibetans has been sentenced to long jail terms for rescuing a self-immolator. Today, Feb. 1, 2013, Phayul.com has reported, Six Tibetans sentenced up to 12 years for rescuing self-immolator. China is reported to have sentenced six Tibetans to long jail terms of up to 12 years for their alleged roles in trying to keep a Tibetan self-immolator from falling into the hands of Chinese officials.
On Jan. 31, 2013, the Xiahe County People's Court passed these sentences, on the same day that a Chinese court in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, sentenced Lobsang Kunchok, to death with a two year reprieve for “instigating” self-immolations, and Lobsang Tsering was sentenced to 10 years. The court in Sangchu has sentenced Pema Dhondup to 12 years, Kalsang Gyatso to 11 years, Lhamo Dhondup to seven years, and a woman named Pema Tso to eight years on charges of intentional homicide. China’s state agency, Xinhua, has reported that two other Tibetans, Dugkar Gyal and a woman, Yangmo Kyi, were convicted of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles" and they were sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively.
There were sentences in connection with the self-immolation protest of Dorjee Rinchen, 57, who set himself on fire in Sangchu region of eastern Tibet back on Oct. 23, 2012. Rinchen carried out his protest near the local PLA recruiting center in Labrang and he succumbed to his injuries at the scene. In a statement released today, following the court sentences, the Central Tibetan Administration noted in a statement that now “even mere expression of sorrow on the loss and sharing of news by families can lead to criminal prosecution.”