Tibetan monk sentenced to death over immolations

  • @cliffordcoonan

Two ethnic Tibetans have been given harsh sentences after they were convicted of murder for "goading" people to set themselves on fire, in a signal that Beijing has no plans to ease the pressure on Tibet.

Since February 2009, more than 90 Tibetans, many of them young monks or nuns in western China, have self-immolated, with most dying.

Lorang Konchok, 40, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, a sentence frequently commuted to life imprisonment, and his nephew, Losang Tsering, 31, was jailed for 10 years, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The two men "incited and coerced" eight people to self-immolate, resulting in three deaths, the Intermediate People's Court of Aba prefecture in Sichuan province, found. Of the eight, three set themselves on fire and died in 2012, while the other five either abandoned their plans or were stopped when police intervened. Self-immolation has become the dominant form of political protest among ethnic Tibetans.