The Ngaba Intermediate People’s Court on June 2, in a trial closed to Tashi Rabten’s family and friends, passed the sentence. According to Radio Free Asia, the court found Tashi Rabten, editor of banned literary magazine ‘Shar Dungri’ (Eastern Snow Mountain) guilty on charges of “inciting activities to split the nation”.
A student at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou, Tashi was detained on April 6, 2010 and six months later was traced to a detention center in Barkham (Chin: Ma’erkang) county, Ngaba (Chin: Aba) TAP.
His reports on the 2008 protests inside Tibet and his book ‘Written in Blood’, copies of which were later confiscated by government officials, had won Tashi ‘great respect and popularity’ amongst intellectuals and ordinary readers.
Tashi Rabten is from Dzoege (Chinese: Ruo’ergai) county in Ngaba, Sichuan province in the Tibetan region of Amdo and was due to graduate in 2010.
Earlier this year three Tibetan writers were sentenced up to four years in prison while noted Tibetan intellectual, Tagyal, was released on “bail pending trial” following six months of imprisonment in October last.
The ongoing crackdown on popular Tibetan intellectuals and artists by the Chinese government has received widespread international condemnation.