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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 14:32 GMT
More Tibetans held in China
China has detained two Tibetan businessmen for allegedly leaking information to the foreign media about the closed trial of two other Tibetans, according to Human Rights Watch.

Di-Di and Tabo were arrested in Lithang in the south-western province of Sichuan last month, the rights group said.

They are believed to have been detained in connection with the case of Lobsang Dhondup, who was executed in January, and Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, who was also given a death sentence which was suspended for two years.

Lobsang Dhondup and Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche had been accused of carrying out bomb attacks in Sichuan between 1998 and 2002.

Fourteen 14 Tibetans, including Lobsang Dhondup and Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, are now reported to have been arrested in Sichuan to date in connection with the bomb attacks.

Reports of torture have surfaced regarding these detentions.

In addition, Tenzin Deleg smuggled a tape out of his cell before his sentencing repudiating his alleged confession, and shouted out support for the Dalai Lama during his trial, which was reported by foreign journalists.

Di-Di, a wealthy businessman and relative of the lama, was present at his trial. Tabo is also said to have connections with Tenzin Deleg and Lobsang Dhondup.

China has said Lobsang Dhondup confessed to being involved in the 1998-2002 bombings. The court said two of the attacks were carried out in the region of Ganzi, near Tibet's eastern border. Another attack in April 2002 on Sichuan province's capital, Chengdu, left one person dead.

Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, 52, had appealed against his conviction.

Mickey Spiegel, of Human Rights Watch, told BBC News Online that Tenzin Deleg "has been a thorn in the side of the government for a while". With the help of funding from Di-Di, he is an "extremely charismatic" figure in the local community, Ms Spiegel said.

The town of Ganzi, where two of the bomb attacks reportedly took place, has faced repeated crackdowns by Chinese police trying to root out pro-independence activists.

The area has a majority ethnic-Tibetan population and has long been a hotbed of pro-Tibetan independence activity.

Western Sichuan was originally known as Cham and was historically part of Tibet.

After the Communists came to power in China in 1949, they amalgamated Cham into Sichuan province.

In 1951, China's People's Liberation Army invaded and occupied the rest of Tibet.


SEE ALSO:
More arrests in Tibetan bomb case
22 Jan 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Tibet sentences condemned
05 Dec 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Death sentence for Tibetan 'bombers'
05 Dec 02 |  Asia-Pacific


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