The San Francisco-based prisoners right advocacy group Duihua has reported that nine Tibetans have been “convicted of inciting splittism” by the Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan.

“Splittism” is a term coined by the Chinese government to define activities connected to the Tibetan independence movement and is categorized under the crime of endangering state security.

Duihua said very few details about the individuals—including their ages, genders, the times and reasons for their arrest and trial, and the length of their sentences—were known.

Duihua’s report provides the names of the individuals, the nature of the crimes for which
they were convicted and the dates of their judgments.

Quoting a “reliable Chinese government source,” Duihua said three of the Tibetans were also convicted of arson.

Duihua gave the names in Chinese and pinyin and The International Campaign for Tibet tried to render those names in a conventional Tibetan way of spelling them.

The nine Tibetans were:

  • Choethar (Qute), who was sentenced on Aug. 31
  • Dolma Tsering (Zhuoma Zeren), Drakpa (Zhaba), Tsering Yeshi (Cili Yixi), who were sentenced on Aug. 28
  • Penpa (Bingba), Namkha Gyaltsen (Langka Jiangze), Pema Tsethar (Baima Zeta), who were sentenced on Aug. 7
  • Bhutruk (Buzhu) who was sentenced on July 2, and
  • Bhudhar (Buda), who was sentenced on June 30.

Penpa, Namkha Gyaltsen, and Pema Tsethar were the three with the additional charges of arson, according to Duihua.

According to all available information, there is no public record of detention of these individuals.

Tibetans in Kardze are known for their strong sense of Tibetan identity and nationhood. In the initial years of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, many people of the region were involved in the resistance against China in the 1950s.

Hardline Chinese campaigns against the Dalai Lama, and the intensification of restrictions on religious expression as well as movement, have added to the people’s growing frustrations at Chinese policies.

During the 2008 pan-Tibetan uprising, there were demonstrations in Kardze, too. Subsequently, the region also saw cases of Tibetan self-immolation.

The full text of the Duihua report can be read here.