(TibetanReview): A province-level court in China’s Qinghai Province has sentenced two Tibetan youths to jail terms of three years each for their involvement in a student protest for language rights in March this year, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Aug 17. The date of the sentence is unclear, however, both have been convicted for advocating independence for Tibet.
The two – Tashi Tsering, 22, and Choeyang Gonpo, 21 – were taken into custody on Mar 18, four days after more than 4,000 students from Tibetan schools across Qinghai Province staged a demonstration, protesting against the imposition of Chinese as the medium of teaching in place of Tibetan. Anywhere from 100 to 200 of them were from the Kangtsa County School of Nationalities to which the two belonged.
A relative was quoted as saying Tashi and Choeyang were singled out for punishment “because of their status as head and assistant monitors of their class.” The two were also of legal age for criminal prosecution, it was explained.
Following their detention, family members tried to visit them 20 to 30 times until they were granted a one-time visit on Jul 16 in he prison complex at Duoba in the provincial capital Xining.
The Mar 14 Tibetan student protest was the largest in Qinghai Province since Oct 2010, when thousands of Tibetan middle and primary school students from four Tibetan prefectures demonstrated for days against the language change policy.