China 'punishes' Tibetan rioters

Sentences handed down days before Olympic torch relay runs through Lhasa.

    Calm has returned to the Tibetan capital since the anti-China protests in March [AFP]

    With the Beijing Olympic torch relay running through Lhasa on Saturday, the rulings were made on Thursday and Friday. 

    In April, authorities jailed 30 people for between three years and life.

    'Questionable' trials

    Exiled Tibetan leaders say 203 people died in the government crackdown.

    China has reported killing one Tibetan "insurgent" and said "rioters" were responsible for 21 deaths.

    On Wednesday, Amnesty International urged China to reveal what happened to people detained during the crackdown, saying more than 1,000 people were held but only a small number had faced "questionable" trials.

    The Tibet issue was one of the major rallying cries for protesters who tailed the Olympic torch's month-long global journey before it came to China for the home run ahead of the August games.

    Pro-Tibet activists as well as human rights and press freedom groups staged huge demonstrations in London, Paris and San Francisco, as well as smaller rallies in Australia, India and elsewhere.

    The flame's shortened one-day stop in Tibet on Saturday is one of the most sensitive of the domestic route, which runs for thousands of miles over three months through every province and region of China.

    China accuses Tibetans of targeting the Olympics, though the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, has repeatedly expressed his support for the Beijing Games.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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