Wed, Mar 24, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Fifty Tibetans allegedly caught over info leaks

By J. Michael Cole  /  STAFF REPORTER

Since the unrest in Tibet in March 2008, as many as 50 Tibetans have been arrested for sending reports, photos or videos abroad, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a report on Monday. In some cases, those arrests resulted in long jail sentences.

The latest conviction, the group said, involved a Netizen called “Dasher” who received a 10-year prison sentence on charges of “separatism” for sending reports and photos of the protests.

“The repression has never stopped since the March 2008 uprising in the Tibetan regions,” RSF said. “This persecution of Tibetans who take risks to send evidence of the human rights situation abroad is a tragic illustration of the state of exception that reigns in Tibet. We call for their immediate release.”

Dasher, arrested on March 13, 2008, was convicted and sentenced by an intermediate court in Lhasa late last month. The exact date of his trial is not known. He is being held in Lhasa’s Chushur prison, the group said.

RSF claims that at least 50 Tibetans have been arrested for sending information out of China have been verified by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

Tibetan journalists allege that a re-education campaign in the Tibetan county of Sog has resulted in the arrest of several Tibetans who refused to comply with the “Love your religion, love your country” campaign, RSF said.

Taiwan Friends of Tibet chairwoman Chow Mei-li (周美里) told the Taipei Times that the situation in Tibet remains critical.

“The Chinese Internet police monitor content. Now we know they go further by sentencing. This is a violation of human rights,” she said.

“As cross-strait relations become closer,” Chow said, “the Taiwanese government should use every opportunity to protest such activities by the Chinese government.”

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