Fear overshadows Tibetan mindset as Samdrup's trial awaits justice

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New York June 24 (ANI): The ongoing controversy of Tibetan award-winning conservationist and philanthropist Karma Samdrup being tortured by the Chinese captors has evoked fear in the minds of the Tibetans as they fear a border crackdown.

Karma, a prominent businessman, was arrested in early January on charges of robbing graves and stealing cultural artifacts. His supporters, however, claim that he is being unfairly punished for lobbying the authorities for the release of his two brothers who sought to expose officials who hunted endangered animals.

The supporters also claimed that he was being illegally arrested for trying to save his brothers from labor camp and torture. They are in prison for accusing a local police chief of hunting protected animals in a Tibetan nature preserve.

Samdrup was brought to the court for hearing for the first time after six months in police custody yesterday.

The lawyer of Samdrup, Pu Zhiqiang alleged that the legal process against his client has been flawed. "I was not allowed to see Mr. Samdrup for six months, and it was only on the eve of the trial that we were allowed to meet," The New York Times quoted Pu Zhiqiang, as saying.

The rights groups have also expressed their anger over the act that, from the past two years, scores of artists, intellectuals, students and businesspeople have been detained and sentenced to prison on charges of subverting state power or seeking to "split" Tibet from China.

"It appears that almost any expression of Tibetan identity can be categorized as separatist or reactionary, these are not angry monks raising their fists in protest but people working within the system who are engaged in work that's essential for a healthy civil society." The New York Times quoted Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet, as saying.

Those who study Beijing's Tibet policy say the authorities appear to have extended their deep-seated suspicions to the Tibetan educated and well-to-do, a tactic which could radicalize a segment of the population that had come to accept the imperfections of Chinese rule. (ANI)

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