A teenage Tibetan girl who was severely beaten for staging a solitary protest in a restive Tibetan-populated area has been ordered jailed for three years, Tibetan sources say.
Jigme Dolma, 17, was sentenced on Aug. 25 for protesting against Chinese rule in the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province, but news of the sentencing was received only on Sept. 6, India-based monk Tehor Jigme said, citing sources in the region.
“Details concerning where she will serve her sentence are still unknown,” Jigme said, adding, “Nevertheless, her three-year sentence has been confirmed."
Speaking on condition of anonymity and citing his own contacts in the region, a second exile source identified the sentencing court as the Kardze Intermediate People’s Court.
“After she was sentenced, she was transferred to a jail [far from Tibetan areas] in China, but officials have declined to provide information on its exact location.”
Jigme Dolma’s parents had been allowed to see her only once while she was held in Kardze, the source said.
“She was accused of committing actions aimed at ‘splitting China,’” he said.
Jigme Dolma had gone to protest at the Kardze county center on June 24 “without informing her family,” a Tibetan woman living in the area told RFA at the time, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Walking from a bridge to an intersection at the center of town, Dolma threw leaflets in the air and called out for freedom for Tibet, the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and the release of Tibetan political prisoners, the source said.
“When she reached the main part of town, police overwhelmed her and took her away, beating her at the same time.”
Relatives found her seriously injured and with her arm in a splint at a local hospital on June 28, the source said. It was unclear if she was under guard at the time.
Jigme Dolma’s family members had previously been active in protests against Chinese rule, RFA’s source said, adding that a nun named Traga, coming from the same family, had participated in a protest in 2008 and been jailed for one year and seven months.
Restive Kardze prefecture has been the scene of frequent protests challenging Chinese rule in Tibetan-populated areas.
On Aug. 1, Chinese police detained and beat a monk, Konchog Yarphel, 22, who had shouted slogans in a public park calling for independence for Tibet.
And on July 4, a young Tibetan named Kelsang Tenzin was detained and beaten in front of Kardze county offices after calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and demanding the release of Tibetan political prisoners.
Human rights groups have expressed concern over the increasing number of Tibetan detentions amid 51 self-immolation protests against Chinese rule since February 2009.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.