China convicts 42 for Tibet unrest
China has jailed 42 people involved in Tibet unrest this year and another 116 suspects await trial. No death penalty has been handed down so far.world Updated: Jul 11, 2008 16:49 IST
China has jailed 42 people for their role in Tibet unrest early this year and another 116 suspects awaited trial but no death penalty has been handed down so far, a top official said.
Courts in Tibetan capital Lhasa and Shannan Prefecture sent 12 more people to jail on June 19 and 20, the official said, not divulging the details of the length of the latest sentences that came after 30 people were sentenced on April 29.
The courts had jailed 30 people in April for terms ranging from three years to life.
Another 116 suspects are on trial, Tibet Executive Vice-Chairman Palma Trily said.
"It would be decided under the Chinese laws whether some can be sentenced to death," state-run official Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
The 41 people were convicted on charges of arson, robbery, disrupting public order and "assaulting" government offices, Trily said.
Violence flared up in Lhasa on March 14 during protests led by monks to mark the anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, when Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama fled to India to live in exile there since then.
China says 19 people, including a police officer, were killed in the violence but rights and Tibetan groups insist the toll is much higher.
The large-scale protests had posed a big challenge to the Communist leadership ahead of the Beijing Olympics. The crackdown that followed by Chinese authorities invited adverse global attention.
China, however, maintained that its security forces acted with restraint in dealing with protesters and persistently blamed the Dalai Lama for instigating the unrest and trying to "sabotage" Olympics, charges that Buddhists have repeatedly denied.