Dharamshala: Chinese authorities in Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) in the traditional Amdo province of Tibet have charged two Tibetan students for “inciting separatism” for displaying a self-made flag and logo during a football match and sharing pictures on social media.
Jampa Tsering and Dugkar Tsering were accused of publicly displaying the “illegal flag and logo” of the football team at the 6th “Holy Lake Cup” football match in Chabcha (Ch: Gonghe) County, in the so-called Tsolho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, incorporated in Qinghai province. The two were also charged for sharing “illegal pictures” of the flag and logo on the social media platform, QQ, which the court referred to as an act of “subverting national unity”. Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy reported that “photos and videos from the event were shared on their WeChat Moments that were seen by many local Tibetan netizens”, which the authorities maintained created “a bad political impact”.
According to the source of the news, a Chinese rights group, on 3 August 2020, the Hainan Prefecture Intermediate Court sentenced Jampa Tsering to one year and six months in prison, suspended for two years under probation, and one-year deprivation of political rights, while Dugkar Tsering was exempted from criminal punishment as it was his first offence.
The details on the exact design of the flag and logo are not known but it is suspected that they could be linked to the Tibetan national flag banned in Tibet. Tibetans in the past have been criminalized and sentenced in connection to the Tibetan national flag. While China has made possessing, let alone hoisting, the Tibetan national flag illegal in Tibet, as part of the “Chinese flag flying campaign”, the Chinese authorities have regulated laws mandating every Tibetans to fly the Chinese flag on their house. Any Tibetan opposed to flying the Chinese flag are considered as “splittist” and “threatening national unity” and are met with unlawful sentences.
- filed by UN, EU, and Human Rights Desk/DIIR