China jails 1, detains 70 to quell Tibet protests
BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese court sentenced a Tibetan man to 13 years in prison Friday for goading a monk to self-immolate, as Beijing steps up a crackdown on self-immolations aimed at protesting communist rule.
The sentence by a court in the northwestern province of Qinghai follows a news report that the Chinese government has detained 70 people in the province’s ethnic Tibetan areas
The sentence and detentions come as Beijing stepped up efforts to blame the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for protests in which nearly 100 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire since 2009.
The measures are a sign new Chinese leaders installed in November are not easing up on the Tibet issue despite the protests and international condemnation.
The protesters are calling for Beijing to allow greater religious freedom and the return from exile of the Dalai Lama, who lives in India.
Communist troops occupied the Himalayan region in 1951. Beijing says it has been part of China for centuries but Tibetans say it was independent for much of that time. The Dalai Lama fled the region in 1959 as Chinese troops crushed protests against communist rule.
The latest detentions occurred in an ethnic Tibetan area of Qinghai province, which abuts Tibet, the government’s Xinhua News Agency reported late Thursday.
It said 12 of those detained were formally arrested but gave no details of the charges.