CHINA 18

Lobsang Tsering


Lobsang Tsering, right, and his uncle,
Lobsang Kunchock, at their trial.
Lobsang Tsering was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Jan. 31, 2013 for “intentional homicide” in connection to the self-immolation of eight Tibetans, although five of the self-immolations never occurred.

Lobsang’s uncle, Lobsang Kunchock, received a suspended death penalty (Editor’s note: suspended death penalities are usually commuted to life in prison, unless the prisoner is alleged to have committed a crime in the first two years of his sentence). The older Lobsang was a monk from the Kirti monastery in Ngaba prefecture (Chinese: Aba) in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.

No evidence was presented to justify the sentencing despite an assertion made by a judge involved in the case to the Global Times that “authorities obtained sufficient evidence showing it [the alleged crimes] had been instructed by ‘forces from abroad.’”

However, state run news agency Xinhua reported that the two had passed information to Tibetans in India about the people who had self-immolated, hinting at charges against the two for sharing information with individuals outside Tibet.

The two were detained during a drive by Chinese authorities to criminalize self-immolations in Tibet.

Little personal information is known about Lobsang, who is of Tibetan descent. At the time of sentencing, Lobsang was 31 years old.