Tibet deals 'heavy blow' against separatists

Updated: 2014-01-13 08:06

By Palden Nyima in Lhasa and Wang Huazhong in Beijing (China Daily)

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Courts in the Tibet autonomous region heard 20 cases last year in which defendants were accused of endangering national security, as this southwestern region pushes forward the rule of law.

Sodar, Tibet's top judge, released the figure as part of an annual work report to the regional people's congress on Sunday. Comparison with previous years is not possible, as no such figures were made available in previous reports.

Sodar said judicial authorities last year dealt "a heavy blow" to separatist activities and those that sought to sabotage and threaten national security.

He said local authorities have established a leading team to handle criminal cases that relate to issues of stability, without disclosing details.

Zhang Peizhong, chief prosecutor of Tibet, also said during his work report to the legislature on Sunday that prosecution departments in the region have waged a war against crimes related with national security.

The country's top political adviser, Yu Zhengsheng, has called for the improved enforcement of the rule of law in Tibet.

Lobsang Jamcan, chairman of the Tibet regional government, said on Friday that the general situation in the fight against separatism remains "grave" - and the task of safeguarding stability is "tough and heavy".

This year, Sodar said judicial authorities will crack underground organizations that make use of religious influence as well as organized gangs, and they will "leave no room for separatists to facilitate the society's long-lasting and comprehensive stability."

Karmu, a legislator and village head from Sharma, Nagqu prefecture, reiterated that stability means happiness while chaos means tragedy for the people. "Without stability, ordinary people's daily lives would be affected and the economy choked."

Chodron Pema, another legislator and village head from Tachi, Tanang county, said he supports the efforts of authorities to strike hard against crime.

"Tibetan and Han people are brothers who live together peacefully. No one can destroy that."

The top judge also said in his report that courts across the region had handled 1,104 lawsuits and sentenced 1,320 people for crimes involving violence, organized gangs and frequent sexual assaults.

Courts in Tibet last year also investigated 39 officials, up by 150 percent year-on-year, for job-related crimes, prosecuting 16 of them, according to the report. It said the prosecutions saved the country more than 14 million yuan ($2.31 million).

Contact the writers at palden_nyima@chinadaily.com.cn and wanghuazhong@chinadaily.com.cn.

Da Qiong contributed tothis story.