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China court jails 30 for involvement in Tibet pro-independence protests

[JURIST] A Chinese court sentenced 30 people to prison Tuesday for their roles in protests against Chinese rule in Tibet [BBC backgrounder] last month. Three men received life sentences, including a Buddhist monk accused of destroying government property and leading attacks on police, while others were sentenced to terms ranging from three to 20 years. Chinese officials have blamed the exiled Dalai Lama [personal website] for organizing the protests by Buddhist monks in the capital of Lhasa last month. AP has more. Xinhua has local coverage.

Earlier this month, Tibetan courts promised to swiftly prosecute demonstrators [JURIST report] involved in the protests, with a top Chinese official in Tibet saying that over 1,000 protesters will face prosecution before May 1. China says that 19 people died after skirmishes between pro-Tibet protesters and Chinese authorities last month, but the Tibetan government-in-exile [official website] said that over 100 had died [JURIST report]. The Dalai Lama has denied accusations that he was behind the riots and has said that he supports true autonomy for Tibet, not outright independence.

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