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Two Tibetans sentenced to three years in jail for posting Dalai Lama photographs online

(RSF/IFEX) - Two young Tibetans, identified as Gyaltsen and Nyima Wangdu, have just been given three-year jail sentences for posting photos of the Dalai Lama online. The exact date of their conviction is not known but it is believed to have been in early December 2009. They were convicted on charges of "communicating information to contacts outside China."

They have been detained in Lhasa since 1 October. Their families, who have not been allowed to visit them in prison or obtain any information about them, are concerned for their health.

Three other Internet users, identified as Yeshi Namkha, Anne (a pseudonym) and Thupten, were arrested for similar reasons on 1 December but have not yet been tried. It is not known where they are being held.

"All these young Tibetan Internet users did was exchange photos of Tibet's spiritual leader," Reporters Without Borders said. "We call for their immediate release and the withdrawal of all the charges. These convictions are absurd. These young people should not be made to pay for the tension between the Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama."

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