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China court sentences Tibetans for encouraging self-immolation

A Chinese court has sentenced two Tibetans for inciting self-immolation [Xinhua report] according to a Thursday report from Xinhua [official website], China's state news agency. The two men were charged with intentional homicide after inciting and coercing eight people to self-immolate, three of whom ultimately died. Lorang Konchok was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and has been stripped of his political rights for life, and his nephew, Lorang Tsering, was sentenced to 10 years and has been stripped of political rights for three years. Almost 100 Tibetans have performed self-immolations since 2009 in order to protest China's policy towards Tibet. Thursday's sentences, which are among the harshest ever issued [NYT report] for self-immolation, are part of a concerted effort by China to curb the practice.

In November both Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website; HRW press release] and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official profile; JURIST report] attributed the waive of self-immolation's to China's failure to address human rights in Tibet. In February HRW demanded [JURIST report] that China release Tibetan prisoners who were forced into re-education camps. In November 2011 the UN formally expressed concern [JURIST report] over China's treatment of Tibet. In July 2010 HRW published a report that accused China of violating international law [JURIST report] in its treatment of Tibetan protesters.

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