Feb 14, 2014

Tibet: China Jails Two Activists In Secret Trial

Two Tibetan activists have been given lengthy jail sentences in January 2014 based on unknown charges. Kelsan Choklang, a monk, has been jailed for 10 years, and Dorje Dagtsel, a layman, has been jailed for 11 years. A protest against the latter’s secret detention in October 2013 was suppressed by Chinese authorities using brutal violence.

Below is an article published by the Tibetan Review:

China has given lengthy jail sentences in January 2014 to two Tibetan activists on unknown charges in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu (Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. The two have been named as Kelsang Choklang, a monk of the local Tarmoe Monastery, jailed for 10 years and Dorje Dagtsel, a layman, jailed for 11 years.

According to Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on February 7 2014, the monk, who originally belonged to the local Yuthang Village in Tsachu Township, was jailed apparently for “illegally gathering a crowd”. The report did not mention a basis for the suspicion but cited local Tibetans as saying the charge was false. The monk is said to be known for his great concern for the preservation of Tibetan culture and friendly relationship among different ethnic groups.

The centre also said Dorje Dagtsel was given seven years for being one of the leaders of a large Tibetan demonstration in May 2013, protesting against Chinese mining of a sacred local site called Naglha Dzamba Mountain. It added that he was jailed for three more years for alleged illegal money lending activity and an additional one year for obstructing the work of Chinese cadres stationed in Diru County under an ongoing political campaign.

Dorje Dragtsel had remained disappeared ever since the Chinese arrested him on October 3, 2013. On October 6, a large crowd of Tibetans staged a demonstration in Driru’s Dathang Township, protesting against his secret detention and demanding his release. The Chinese used brutal violence to suppress the protest. A force of about 300 paramilitary People’s Armed Police fired on the Tibetans and also used metallic batons.

Photo © rickz