China Sends 30 to Prison in Mass Tibet Trials
Trial condemned as 'rubber stamp,' by human rights groups
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2008 7:43 AM CDT
An open court session in connection with the Lhasa violence on March 14 is held in Lhasa, Tuesday, April 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Chogo)
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(Newser) – A Chinese court sentenced 30 people yesterday, including six monks, for taking part in the March protest riots in Tibet, the New York Times reports. The sentences ranged from three years to life in prison. Human Rights Watch watch said the trials were secret and defendants weren’t allowed representation, calling them “political punishment masquerading as a legal process.”

One 20-year-old received life for burning cars and throwing rocks at fire engines; another, a monk, for leading a group that attacked police and destroyed shops. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman again blamed the Dalai Lama for the ethnically-charged riots, which touched off protests that have interrupted the Olympic torch relay around the world.