Sat, Jul 12, 2008 - Page 1 News List

China jails more Tibetan protesters

AGENCIES , BEIJING

A Nepalese policeman detains a Tibetan protester at a rally in front of the visa section of the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu yesterday. More than 100 Tibetans are awaiting trial in China for their roles in protests.

PHOTO: EPA

Chinese courts jailed 12 more rioters for their roles in unrest in Tibet, state media said, weeks before the Beijing Olympics and after Beijing deported a Tibetan British woman it accused of anti-government activism earlier this week.

China’s Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday that to date the country has convicted 42 people for their role in the riots while another 116 await trial.

Some 953 people were detained by the police, Xinhua said, quoting Palma Trily, the No. 1 vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region government.

He did not give details on the length of the latest 12 sentences handed down on June 19 and June 20 but said neither these rioters nor 30 people convicted earlier had received death sentences.

“But whether or not the death penalty will be applied for suspects still being investigated has to be determined based on Chinese laws,” Palma Trily was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, China is offering rewards of up to 500,000 yuan (US$73,000) to anyone who provides information on major security threats during the Olympic Games, state media reported yesterday.

The rewards aim to “mobilize the enthusiasm of the masses in maintaining public security, as well as to control and eliminate hidden dangers to the Olympic Games,” Xinhua news agency said, citing Beijing authorities.

The move, part of an increasingly strict security drive in China’s capital ahead of the Games next month, urged residents in the city to report information on major threats until Oct. 31, Xinhua said.

They would be given between 10,000 yuan and 500,000 yuan for credible tips, the notice said.

Examples of what police are looking for included information on terrorist attacks, sabotage by illegal organizations such as the Falun Gong and plots to attack Olympic-related people and foreigners, Xinhua reported.

The announcement comes a day after China claimed it faced a serious threat of terrorism in the Xinjiang autonomous region ahead of the Olympics.

Authorities said 82 suspected “terrorists” had been detained and five organizations that had been planning to attack the Games had been cracked there this year.

Human rights groups and other critics say the government has fabricated or exaggerated the terrorist threat as an excuse to crush all forms of dissent before the showpiece event.

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