Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Chinese Jailed Due to Blog

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 10, 2010

from AP
BEIJING: A Tibetan environmentalist was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday on a charge of inciting separatism in China, in the latest sign of what rights groups called increasing repression of Tibetan intellectuals.

Chinese authorities said an article on Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was posted to Rinchen Samdrup’s website, which is devoted to environmental protection in the Himalayan region.

Rinchen Samdrup pleaded not guilty in a trial that lasted less than two hours. He told the Changdu Intermediate People’s Court he didn’t post the article and it was a mistake not to delete it quickly.

The Chinese Government is highly sensitive about anything related to the Dalai Lama, whom it has accused of supporting independence for Tibet.

Tensions in the region escalated after 2008 rioting in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, in which at least 22 people died. His lawyer Xia Jun said someone else posted the article but did not say who.

The sentence comes little over a week after Rinchen Samdrup’s brother, an environmentalist once praised by the Chinese Government as a model philanthropist, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of grave-robbing and dealing in looted antiquities.

Supporters of the brother, Karma Samdrup, said the sentence was aimed at punishing his efforts to free Rinchen Samdrup and another brother from detention.

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