국제앰네스티는 수상경력이 있는 티베트 환경 운동가 삼형제의 석방을 중국 정부에 요구했다. 이들 중 두 명은 최근 한 주 간격으로 장기 징역형을 선고 받았다.
하천 보존과 관련해 2006년 중국 국영방송 CCTV가 ‘올해의 자선가’로 선정했던 카르마 삼드룹(Karma Samdrup)은 1998 년 이미 각하된 ‘문화재 도굴 공모’ 혐의로 지난주 15년의 징역형을 선고 받았다.
그는 구금 중 고문을 당하며 자백을 강요당했다고 말했다. 지난 6월 재판 당시 그는 6개월 만에 무척 야윈 모습으로 출두해 아내조차 겨우 알아볼 정도였다고 한다.
카르마 삼드룹은 지난 1월 구금 중이었던 그의 두 형제 린첸 삼드룹(Richen Samdrup)과 치메 남기알 (Chime Namgyal)의 석방을 위해 로비를 벌이다 체포됐다. 그의 두 형제는 2009년 8월 그들이 이끌던 밀렵반대 및 재식림 NGO를 통해 멸종위기 동 물들을 밀렵하던 부패한 관리들을 밝히려다 체포됐다.
린첸은 약 1년간 재판을 받지 못하고 구금 중에 있다가 지난 3일 ‘분리주의 선동’ 혐의로 피상적인 재판을 통해 5년의 징역형을 선고 받았다. 이 판결에 대한 핵심 증거는 린첸의 웹사이트에 게시된 달라이 라마 관련 글이었는데, 린첸은 자기가 쓴 것이 아니 라고 말했다.
이 두 형제에 대한 재판절차는 매우 불공평했다. 그들의 변호인단은 그들과 만날 수 없었으며, 핵심 증거에 접근할 수 없었다.
China must halt persecution of award-winning Tibetan environmentalist family
8 July 2010
Amnesty International is calling for the release of three award-winning Tibetan environmental activist brothers, two of whom were recently given lengthy prison sentences within a week of each other.
Karma Samdrup, named ‘philanthropist of the year’ in 2006 by China’s state broadcaster CCTV for his work on river preservation, was sentenced last week to 15 years for ‘inciting the stealing of cultural relics’ from tombsites, a charge that had been dropped in 1998.
He has made detailed allegations of torture in detention to extract a forced confession. When he appeared in court in June, he had lost so much weight in six months that his wife could barely recognise him.
Karma Samdrup’s arrest took place in January after he lobbied for the release of his two detained brothers Rinchen Samdrup and Chime Namgyal. The pair were arrested in August 2009 after their award-winning anti-poaching and reforestation NGO threatened to uncover corrupt officials illegally hunting endangered wildlife.
Rinchen was sentenced on Saturday to five years after a cursory trial for ‘inciting splittism’, having been in detention without trial for almost a year. The key piece of evidence was an article mentioning the Dalai Lama that he insisted someone else had posted on his website.
The trials of the two brothers have been grossly unfair. Their lawyers have been repeatedly denied access to their clients and to key evidence.
Chime is already serving 21 months of ‘Re-education Through Labour’ imposed without charge or trial, on allegations of ‘harming social stability’ by illegally collecting local information about the environment and religion, and organizing ‘irregular petitioning’ by local residents.
Rinchen and Chime’s NGO had received wide praise in Chinese state media, as well as support from the Ford motor company and from actor Jet Li’s One Foundation.
“Rinchen’s activism has been celebrated by state newspapers, citing local Communist Party officials, while he was actually in detention,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Asia-Pacific.
“The targeting of this apolitical family sends worrying signals that the authorities are engaged in an ever-widening crackdown. Such prosecutions could also threaten the growing environmental activism that the country so desperately needs.”
The brothers’ extended family is also being targeted by authorities. A cousin, Sonam Choephel, is serving one and a half years of `Re-education Through Labour` after organizing a group to petition in Beijing for justice for Rinchen Samdrup.
Another cousin, Rinchen Dorje, who had acted as an interpreter for Karma Samdrup, was arrested in March and his whereabouts are currently unknown. The International Campaign for Tibet has stated that Karma Samdrup’s mother, in her 70s, was beaten unconscious by police under the authority of a Communist Party official, and that 20 villagers from the brothers’ home area were detained, interrogated and tortured after further petitioning in Beijing.
Cultural and intellectual leaders in the Tibetan community have been increasingly targeted by Chinese security forces since the 2008 protests and unrest in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and in other Tibetan areas of China.