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[ineb] Urgent Action Appeal

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  • Lobsang Nyandak, Director TCHRD Dsala
    URGENT ACTION APPEAL Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Date: August 3, 1999 IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF NGAWANG SANGDROL The Longest serving female
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2 10:46 PM
      Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
      Date: August 3, 1999

      The Longest serving female political prisoner in Tibet

      Ngawang Sangdrol, who was serving 17 years' imprisonment in Drapchi Prison,
      had her sentence extended for the third time in October 1998 by the
      Intermediate Municipal Court of Lhasa, bringing her total sentence to 21
      years. She is the longest serving female political prisoner in Tibet.

      According to a reliable source from Tibet, Ngawang Sangdrol's sentence was
      increased by four years due to her participation in the May 1 and 4, 1998
      prisoner protests at Drapchi Prison. Earlier reports indicate that since
      the protests in May last year Ngawang Sangdrol and another nun, Ngawang
      Choezom from Chubsang Nunnery were subjected to harsh treatment and were
      placed in solitary confinement. Sangdrol was suspected as a "ring leader"
      by Chinese authorities and singled out for ill treatment. Following the
      Drapchi Prison incidence, 11 prisoners were reported to have died.

      Ngawang Sangdrol's prison sentence had previously been prolonged by the
      Intermediate Municipal Court of Lhasa in October 1993 and July 1996. Born
      in 1977, Ngawang Sangdrol, now 22 year-old was from Garu Nunnery. She was
      first arrested when she was only ten years old in 1987 for participating in
      a demonstration and was detained for 15 days. On August 28, 1990, at the
      age of 13, she again joined a demonstration led by nuns from Norbulingkha
      in Lhasa. She was considered too young to be tried that time and was
      detained for nine months without charge.

      On June 17, 1992, at the age of 15, she had originally been sentenced to
      three years for attempting to stage a demonstration in Lhasa along with
      other nuns from Garu Nunnery. She was then charged of "subversive and
      separatist" activities.

      Whilst in Drapchi Prison, Sangdrol's sentence was extended by six years on
      October 8, 1993 on charges of "spreading counter-revolutionary propaganda."
      Along with thirteen other nuns, she was accused of recording independence
      songs and poems on a tape recorder and smuggling it outside the prison. In
      July 1996, her sentence was further extended by eight years for shouting
      "Free Tibet" while she and other nuns were made to stand in the rain as
      punishment for failing to clean their prison cells. The latest extension of
      her prison sentence brought her current sentence to 21 years.

      Article 69 of the Chinese Penal Code clearly stipulates that the maximum
      sentence of fixed-term imprisonment cannot exceed 20 years. By extending
      Sangdrol's prison sentence to 21 years, China has violated its own law.

      The Chinese authorities have also violated the Article 17 of the Chinese
      Penal Code, which states that minors below the age of 16 will not be held
      responsible for their infraction. Sangdrol was only 15 years old when she
      was arrested and sentenced to 3 years on June 17, 1992 on charges of
      "counter-revolutionary" activities. Her younger brother, Jamphel Tenzin who
      resides in India, testifies her year of birth as 1977.

      Ngawang Sangdrol (lay name: Rigchog) continues to be subjected to harsh
      treatment. She was placed in solitary confinement on two occasions in
      March 1996 (6 months and 10 days) and after the prisoner protests in
      Drapchi Prison in May 1998. Sangdrol's prison mate, Lobsang Dolma, who
      spent 5 years in Drapchi Prison with her, reported that she has for long a
      kidney problem but was allowed for treatment only in prison clinic. She is
      made to weave wool and is never allowed outside prison to work. Ngawang
      Sangdrol is now due to be released in the year 2013 at the age of 36. By
      that time she will have spent 21 years of her prime life in prison.

      Recommended Action:
      Please circulate this appeal letter to your friends.

      Please send telegrams/telexes/express/airmail letters in English, Tibetan
      or Chinese or in your language:
      · To immediately rectify China's illegal sentencing of Ngawang Sangdrol by
      releasing her from prison;
      · Demanding an immediate end to the brutal ill-treatment of Ngawang
      Sangdrol and other prisoners who were involved in the peaceful protests of
      1 and 4 May 1998 in Drapchi Prison;
      · Urging that political prisoners, including Ngawang Sangdrol, immediately
      receive full and appropriate medical treatment;
      · Urging a full and impartial investigation into the deaths of 11 political
      prisoners following the May incidence in Drapchi;

      Write your appeals to:
      President of the People's Republic of China
      JIANG Zemin, Guojia Zhixi, Beijingshi
      People's Republic of China
      Telegram: President Jiang Zemin,
      Beijing, People's Republic of China
      Salutation: Your Excellency

      Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Government
      Legchog, Zhuren, Xizang Zizhiqu Renmin Zhengfu,
      1 Kang'angdonglu, Lasashi 850000,
      Xizang Zizhiqu, People's Republic of China
      Telexes: 68014 FAOLT CN or 68007 PGVMT CN
      Telegram: Chairman, Regional People's Government, Lhasa, Tibet
      Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China
      Salutation: Dear Chairman

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