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Lakhvi release: India takes up concerns with China at ‘highest level’

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New Delhi: India has taken up with China “at the highest level” its concerns over Beijing blocking its move in the UN for action against Pakistan over the release of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi from jail last month.

In response to a question on China’s statement on Lakhvi at the United Nations, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “Government had taken up the issue of violation of the 1267 sanctions regime in respect of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

“Our concerns in this matter were conveyed to the chair of the 1267 Committee. We also raised this bilaterally with the other member of the committee. In the case of China, this matter has been taken up at the highest level.”

The UN Sanctions Committee, which met at India’s request, was to seek a clarification from Pakistan on Lakhvi’s release in the Mumbai attacks trial but China blocked the move on grounds that India did not provide sufficient information, according to reports.

India had approached the UN last month against Lakhvi’s release from Adiala Jail, following the Lahore High Court verdict declaring his detention orders illegal.

(IANS)

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Tibetan Activist Sentenced to 5 Years of Imprisonment in China

A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence "unjust" and urging his immediate release.

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A Tibetan education activist was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for inciting separatism, Amnesty International (AI) said, calling the sentence “unjust” and urging his immediate release.

The main evidence against Tashi Wangchuk, who was sentenced by a court in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, was a 2015 video by the New York Times about his campaign for saving the Tibetan language, according to his lawyer.

“Today’s verdict against Tashi Wangchuk is a gross injustice. He is being cruelly punished for peacefully drawing attention to the systematic erosion of Tibetan culture,” AI East Asia Research Director Joshua Rosenzweig was cited as saying by Efe news.

Before his arrest, the 31-year-old activist had expressed concern over the fact that many Tibetan children could not fluently speak their native language, contributing to the progressive extinction of the Tibetan culture.

Representational Image: Tibetan Teachings
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Tashi must be immediately and unconditionally released,” demanded AI, pointing out that the activist had already spent two years in detention without access to his family.

Rosenzweig claimed that Tashi Wangchuk “was a human rights defender and prisoner of conscience who used the media and China’s own legal system in his struggle to preserve Tibetan language, culture and identity”.

In the New York Times video, the activist had highlighted “the extreme discrimination and restrictions on freedom of expression that Tibetans face in China today”.

Also Read: An Attempt to Preserve Ancient Tibetan Literature

Non-profit Human Rights Watch (HRW) also criticized the prison term for Tashi Wangchuk, whose “only crime was to peacefully call for the right of minority peoples to use their own language”, a right safeguarded by the Chinese Constitution.

“His conviction on bogus separatism charges show that critics of government policy on minorities have no legal protections,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson. (IANS)

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