Cablegate: Tibet: Tar Justice Serves the Party, Socialism, and Unity

DE RUEHCN #0305/01 3490604
P 150604Z DEC 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


CHENGDU 00000305 001.2 OF 004

1. (U) This message contains sensitive but unclassified
information. Not for Internet distribution.

2. (SBU) Summary: The Deputy Director of the Tibetan Autonomous
Region (TAR) Justice Bureau recently outlined to Consul General
the TAR prison system, reeducation-through-labor system, and
civil dispute mediation services, including legal advice
provided free of charge to the poor. Visits to TAR prisons are
possible when cleared through proper channels. Among the 3000
prisoners in the TAR, there are about 30 monks and nuns; before
March 14, 2008 there were no monks or nuns in the prisons.
Eighty-four prisoners involved in the "March 14 Incident" are
now serving prison terms. The TAR Justice Bureau conducts civic
education in schools, monasteries, government offices, and rural
communities to build the rule of law and protect social
stability. The three main goals of the Justice Bureau are to
support the Communist Party, support socialism, and support
ethnic regional autonomy. The Deputy Director refused to accept
a list of representative political prisoners that CG tried to
present at the end of the meeting. End Summary.

3. (SBU) Reading from a prepared text, TAR Justice Bureau Deputy
Director He Ping began by outlining the organization of the TAR
Justice Bureau. The TAR Justice Bureau manages prisons,
labor-education camps, and the National Judicial Examination.
The Justice Department also provides legal aid, educates
criminals, and conducts many educational activities. The
Justice Bureau has about 1000 police cadres, 60 percent of whom
are ethnic Tibetans and 31 percent of whom are women.

4. (SBU) Deputy Director He Ping continued that there are five
prisons in the TAR: TAR Prison, Lhasa Prison, Chushul Prison,
Pome Prison, and the TAR Reformatory. The government provides
adequate food, clothes and accommodations for all prisoners, and
makes sure that they are able to get enough sleep. The monthly
ration for prisoners includes 20 kg of grain, 5 kg of meat, and
15 kg of vegetables. Prisoners also receive tea, butter, and
special food appropriate for their ethnic group. Feeding one
prisoner costs about 300 RMB per month. The prisoners also take
regular showers and medical check-ups. In 2002, the Justice
Bureau established its own well-equipped hospitals to care for
prisoners. If prisoners need medical care that the Justice
Bureau Hospital cannot provide, then the Justice Bureau allows
the prisoner to travel to other places under the supervisor of a
family member who also serves as a guarantor of their return.

5. (SBU) The TAR currently holds 3000 prisoners including 20 -
30 monks and nuns. Before March 14, 2008, there were no monks
and nuns held in the TAR prison system. Currently, 84 people
are serving prison sentences for their involvement in the "March
14 Incident."

Re-Education Through Labor


6. (SBU) Deputy Director He said that the Justice Bureau also is
in charge of the detention of people under China's re-education
through labor system (laodong jiaoyang zhidu), which was
established by the National People's Congress in 1957. This
system is well suited to China's national conditions, he said.
[Note: Reeducation through labor (laogai/laojiao) enables Public
Security to sentence a person to detention for up to two years
without appeal, judicial review, or oversight. In 2009, the
Chinese Ambassador to UN/Geneva revealed that the PRC had 320
such administrative detention centers with 190,000 prisoners
(URL Flora Sapio, an Italian
China law expert, has much information about China's reform
through labor system on her blog "Forgotten Archipelagos" at URL End Note]

Providing Legal Education, Mediating

Civil Disputes, Regulating Lawyers

CHENGDU 00000305 002.2 OF 004


7. (SBU) Deputy Director He continued, saying that the TAR
Justice Bureau has been disseminating information about the
legal system among the TAR citizenry since the 1980s. People
must defend the unity of the motherland and fight separatists.
The TAR Justice Bureau conducts legal education at schools,
monasteries, government offices, and rural communities in order
to build a society that ruled by law and in which social
stability is protected. The Justice Bureau supports three
things: the Chinese Communist Party; socialism; and regional
ethnic autonomy. The Justice Bureau opposes three things:
separatism, acts against property, and violence against persons.

8. (SBU) The Justice Bureau also mediates civil disputes. Civil
mediators (renmin diaojieyuan) work in many rural areas. The
TAR Lawyers Association is "managed" by the Justice Bureau. The
Justice Bureau registers lawyers and law firms, and gives
guidance to lawyers on how to do their work. Everyone,
including poor people in the TAR, can get legal assistance
through the Justice Bureau. There are legal assistance officers
at the county, prefectural, and regional levels in the TAR. So
far, there are no non-governmental lawyers who specialize in
reporting environmental protection issues to the TAR government.
Both public and private lawyers in the TAR provide legal

TAR Prisons Open to International Visitors,

But Get Permission from the Foreign Ministry


9. (SBU) In response to CG's question, Deputy Director He
responded that TAR prisoners are open to international visitors.
First, visitors inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
Beijing. Then, MOFA will ask the Ministry of Justice, which in
turn asks the TAR Justice Bureau for assistance. Deputy
Director He said that he had visited prisons in Australia, New
Zealand, and in the Republic of Korea.

Justice Official Refuses CG's List of Political Prisoners

--------------------------------------------- ------------

10. (SBU) Chengdu CG, at the close of the meeting, tried to
present a list of representative political prisoners to Deputy
Director He Ping, as he had to TAR Vice Governor Wu (reftel).
Deputy Director He refused to accept the list, saying that such
a document could come only through "proper diplomatic channels."
A TAR Foreign Affairs Office handler accepted the list after
the meeting after the Consul General explained that this list is
the same list as that provided to Governor Wu except but with
more detailed information on the political prisoners:

Representative Prisoners of Conscience in the TAR

--------------------------------------------- -


Jigme Gyatso (Jinmei Jiacuo) (Detained 1996)

Jinmei Jiacuo, a former monk who operated a restaurant in Lhasa,
was detained in March 1996 and sentenced on November 23, 1996.
He is imprisoned in Qushui Prison where he is serving an 18-year
extended sentence for printing leaflets, distributing posters,
and later shouting pro-Dalai Lama slogans in prison. His
sentence will be complete in March 2014. Unofficial sources have
reported that he has suffered from jaundice, has difficulty
walking and bending, and was hospitalized for several weeks in

CHENGDU 00000305 003.2 OF 004


Bangri Chogtrul, or Jigme Tenzin (Jinmei Danzeng) (Detained

Jinmei Danzeng, a lama who lived as a householder, was detained
in August 1999 and convicted of inciting splittism and sentenced
to life imprisonment on September 26, 2000. He and his wife
managed a children's home in Lhasa. The Lhasa Intermediate
People's Court commuted his sentence from life imprisonment to a
fixed term of 19 years in July 2003, and then reduced his
sentence by one year in November 2005. He is serving his
sentence, which will be complete in July 2021, in Qushui Prison.
He suffers from heart disease and gallstones.

Choeying Khedrub (Quyin Kezhu) (Detained 2000)

Quyin Kezhu, a monk living in Suo (Sog) county in Naqu (Nagchu)
prefecture, was detained in March 2000 and sentenced to life
imprisonment for endangering state security on November 10,
2000. He and several other men set up a political group that
printed and distributed leaflets. He is serving his sentence in
Qushui Prison.

Drolma Kyab (Zhuomajia) (Detained 2005)

Zhuomajia, a school teacher in Lhasa, reportedly was detained in
March 2005 for drafting a Chinese-language commentary that
addressed topics including Tibetan sovereignty, democracy,
religion, and the Tibetan experience under communism. A second
draft addressed topics such as the location of Chinese military
bases in Tibetan areas. The Lhasa Intermediate People's Court
sentenced him on September 16, 2005, to 10 years and 6 months in
prison for espionage and illegally crossing the border. He is
serving his sentence in Qushui Prison.

Sonam Gyalpo (Suolang Jiebu) (Detained 2005)

Suolang Jiebu, a tailor in Lhasa, was one of several Tibetans
detained in August 2005, shortly before the 40th anniversary of
the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region on September 1,
1965. State security officials searched his Lhasa home and found
photos and videotapes of the Dalai Lama and printed matter. The
Lhasa Intermediate People's Court sentenced him on June 9, 2006,
to 12 years' imprisonment for espionage. He is serving his
sentence in Qushui Prison. He previously served a three-year
sentence for putting up political posters in September 1987.

Lodroe (Luozhui) (Detained March 2008)

Luozhui, a monk from Shiqu (Sershul) county, Ganzi (Kardze)
Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, who was
studying temporarily at Sera Monastery in Lhasa, joined other
monks visiting Sera to stage a political protest in Lhasa's
Barkor street on March 10, 2008. China Tibet News reported that
Lodroe held up a Tibetan national flag during the protest and
described the other monks as Luozhui's "followers." According to
an unofficial August 2009 report, in April 2009 a Lhasa court
sentenced Luozhui to 10 years' imprisonment and he is serving
his sentence in Qushui Prison.

Lobsang Ngodrub (Luosang Ouzhu) (Detained March 2008)

Luosang Ouzhu, a monk from Shiqu (Sershul) county, Ganzi
(Kardze) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, who
was studying temporarily at Sera Monastery in Lhasa, joined
other monks visiting Sera to stage a political protest in
Lhasa's Barkor street on March 10, 2008. China Tibet News
reported that on March 24, 2008, 13 of the monks were formally
arrested on charges of "unlawful assembly." According to an
unofficial August 2009 report, Luosang Ouzhu was sentenced to
five years' imprisonment and is serving his sentence in Qushui

CHENGDU 00000305 004.2 OF 004

Wangdu (Wangdui) (Detained March 2008)

Wangdui, an HIV/AIDS activist, was detained on March 14, 2008,
the day protests and rioting erupted in Lhasa. On October 27 the
Lhasa Intermediate People's Court sentenced Wangdui to life
imprisonment for "espionage," claiming that he established a
group including three other men to distribute material to incite
a "Tibetan people's uprising" and to collect "intelligence" that
touched on "the security and interests of the nation." Wangdui
previously served eight years in prison after detention on March
8, 1989, the day martial law took effect in Lhasa after three
days of protest and rioting. Prior to the 1989 detention Wangdu
was a monk at Lhasa's Jokhang Temple.

Yeshe Choedron (Yixi Quzhen) (Detained March 2008)

Yixi Quzhen, a retired medical doctor, was detained in Lhasa in
March 2008 following protests that began on March 10 and rioting
on March 14. On November 7, 2008, the Lhasa Intermediate
People's Court sentenced Yixi Quzhen to 15 years' imprisonment
for "espionage," claiming that she received "financial aid" from
"the Dalai Clique's `Security Department'" for providing
"intelligence and information harmful to the security and
interests of the state." According to an October 2009 report,
she is serving her sentence in a prison near Lhasa and has not
been permitted any family visits.

Tenzin Buchung (Danzeng Puqiong) (Detained March 2008)

Danzeng Puqiong, a Langthang Monastery monk studying at Samye
Monastery, joined a group of Samye monks and "hundreds" of other
Tibetans in a peaceful protest near government offices in Samye
township, located in Zhanang (Dranang) county, Shannan (Lhoka)
prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region. The protesters shouted
slogans calling for the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet and respect
for human rights. Public security officials detained an unknown
number of persons, including at least five monks. In May or June
2008, the Shannan Intermediate People's Court sentenced Danzeng
Puqiong to 15 years in prison.


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