Headline News


Only 8% of Lhasa rioters sent to jail

Source: China.Daily | 03-07-2009 11:12

Special Report:   Tibet in 50 Years

Only 76 of the 953 people detained for their involvement in last year's Lhasa riot received prison sentences, and the rest have all been released, a top official of the Tibet autonomous region said on Friday.

Those who were convicted received sentences ranging from less than five years to life, Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the autonomous region's government, told reporters at a panel discussion during the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing.

Most of those jailed were found guilty of theft, robbery, arson, disrupting public services or attacking government agencies, Puncog said. Only a few were convicted of "endangering national security".

"Everything was conducted strictly according to the law. Every verdict was based on clear and strong evidence," he said.

Last year's violence left 18 people dead and injured 382 civilians and 241 police officers. Rioters set fire to 120 houses and 84 vehicles and looted 1,367 shops, causing US$47 million in economic losses, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Lhasa Mayor Doje Cezhug told reporters on Friday the local government had offered riot victims financial support of more than 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million), and helped to arrange about 12 million yuan (US$1.75 million) in low-interest loans for them.

Puncog said no major disturbances were expected in the region this year.