Two sentenced for urging self-immolations

Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:21 AM
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BEIJING, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A court in Southwest China's Sichuan province Thursday sentenced two men who were convicted of urging eight Tibetans to self-immolate, three of whom died.

The Intermediate People's Court of the Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba sentenced Lorang Konchock, 40, to death with a two-year reprieve -- which is often commuted to a life prison sentence -- and his nephew, Lorang Tsering, 31, to two years in prison, The New York Times reported.

Konchock's political rights were stripped for this lifetime and Tsering's were stripped for three years, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The two were arrested in August 2012 after urging eight people to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. Three people set themselves on fire and died. The other five did not complete the act after willingly abandoning their plans or police intervention, Xinhua said.

Chinese officials are attempting to crack down on a rise in self-immolations through harsher prison sentences, the Times reported. At least 100 Tibetans have tried to set themselves on fire since 2009. At least 81 died as a result, the International Campaign for Tibet said.

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