EU Condemns Execution of Two Tibetan Protesters བོད་སྐད།

The European Union has condemned China's execution of two Tibetans for their alleged role in protests and rioting last year in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

The E.U. issued a statement Thursday saying it respects China's right to bring to justice those who are responsible for the violence, but reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty under all circumstances.

The bloc called on China to commute all death sentences imposed on people for alleged involvement in the Lhasa riots in March 2008.

The E.U. statement also questioned whether the trials of those persons were conducted according to due process and other safeguards for a fair trial.

The rights group International Campaign for Tibet says the two men, identified as Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, were sentenced to death in April for "starting fatal fires" during the demonstrations in Tibet's capital.

China's foreign ministry confirmed the executions on Wednesday.

The International Campaign for Tibet says the death sentences are part of a larger crackdown by Chinese authorities that began last year following a wave of deadly antigovernment protests.

The group says the executions are the first known incidents where capital punishment was carried out in connection with the March 14 riot.

Tibetan exiles say more than 200 Tibetans were killed in Tibet and adjoining areas during China's crackdown on antigovernment protesters.

The Tibetan government in exile accuses Beijing of trying to force ethnic Tibetans from their ancestral lands in order to extract minerals and other resources from the region.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.