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Tibetan monks jailed over immolation death

Three men have been convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to between ten and 13 years in prison.

Image: AP Photo/Wally Santana/PA

A CHINESE COURT has jailed three Tibetan monks following the death of a fourth monk from injuries he sustained after dousing himself with fuel and setting himself alight.

Rigzin Phuntsog, 21, died after the incident on 16 March. Prosecutors claimed two monks had instigated and assisted in his death, while a third contributed to his death by denying him medical treatment in the hours following the fire.

The China Daily reports today that two monks, Tsering Tenzin and Tenchum of the Kirti Monastery, have been convicted of intentional homicide. The paper reports that both confessed and they have been sentenced to 13 and ten years in prison respectively.

On Monday, the third monk, Drongdru, was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to 11 years in prison over the death.

Earlier this month, a second Tibetan monk, 29-year-old Tsewang Norbu, died after a self-immolation protest in Tawu.

The director of London-based organisation Free Tibet, Stephanie Brigden, recently said that “it can only be assumed that part of Tsewang Norbu’s motivation behind his desparate act was to draw international attention to the deepening crisis in Tibet”. Brigden added that the people in Tawu “are afraid” after additional security checkpoints were deployed to the area.

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