Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

China convicts 30 for Lhasa rioting

A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced 30 individuals for participation in rioting in Lhasa’s March 14 riots. Sentences ranged from three years to life in prison, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The rioting in Lhasa resulted in 22 deaths, according to government reports. Hospitals, schools, and homes were also set on fire and stores were looted.

Foreign journalists are banned from entering Tibet, and so there is confusion as to whether the accused were fairly represented at the “open trial” in Lhasa. One Beijing lawyer, Cheng Hai, expressed his concern on this matter. “It’s impossible to say whether these are fair trials or not,” Cheng said. “I don’t know if they received enough legal assistance.”

Cheng, along with 17 other lawyers, signed an open letter on April 2, stating that he was willing to defend the accused individuals.

Another lawyer who also signed the letter, Teng Biao, was told by the Justice and Public Security bureaus in Beijing that: “The Tibet issue is very sensitive. Don’t get involved.”

Human Rights Watch released a report Tuesday maintaining that Chinese lawyers who participate in sensitive cases are sometimes harassed, assaulted, or have their licenses seized.

For the full article, click here.


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