Getting news out of Tibet remains extraordinarily difficult since the March 2008 uprising that rattled Chinese authorities on the eve of last year’s Beijing Olympics. But now a number of sources are reporting that at least three people have been executed for their roles in the unrest. They would be the first people executed in Tibet in connection with the uprising.
This latest news came from Tibetan exile groups and local sources, and the Chinese authorities so far haven’t said a word. One of the men executed was identified as Lobsang Gyaltsen, age 22 or 23, from Lhasa’s Lubuk township. He was reportedly allowed a last visit from his mother where he asked her to make sure his son was received an education.
A spokesman for an exile group identified the other two people executed as a young woman and a Tibetan youth from Amdo Aba in Sichuan province.
Another source said,“I got information from Lhasa that three Tibetans who were involved in the 2008 protests were executed on Oct. 20, in Lhasa, around 11 a.m.. The Chinese authorities execute Tibetans in secrecy and never reveal details.”
Rioting rocked Lhasa in March last year and spread to Tibetan-dominated regions of western China, causing official embarrassment ahead of the August 2008 Beijing Olympics. Officials say 21 people—including three Tibetan protesters—died in the violence.
Last Thursday, the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) released a report saying at least 670 Tibetans have been jailed in 2009 for activities that include peaceful protest or leaking information abroad. It qualified the number saying it was “a figure certain to be incomplete”
The report says the crackdown concentrated on Tibetan communities, monasteries, nunneries, schools, and workplaces. It noted “security measures intensified in some Tibetan areas” during the 2009 anniversaries of the protests.
By the end of April 2009, TAR courts had sentenced 84 Tibetans to punishments ranging from fixed jail terms to life, as well as to death or death with a two-year reprieve, in connection with the 2008 riots, the CECC report said.
It also detailed a widespread “patriotic education” campaign that requires monks and nuns to pass examinations on political texts, agree that Tibet is historically a part of China, and denounce the Dalai Lama.
“The government has in the past year used institutional, educational, legal and propaganda channels to pressure Tibetan Buddhists to modify their religious views and aspirations.”
Amnesty International says it has documented “a pattern of unfair trials, including a failure on the part of the Chinese authorities to distinguish between individuals engaged in peaceful protests and those perpetrating criminal acts.
Tibetans say the official media never report on executions in Tibet—but they do cover capital punishment and criminal trials in the case of ethnic Uyghurs, who had their own violent run-ins with the authorities earlier this year