Rights Group Says China Jails Tibetan Writer for 15 Years བོད་སྐད།

A Tibetan activist group says China has sentenced the founder of a Tibetan cultural Web site to 15 years in prison on charges of disclosing state secrets.

The International Campaign for Tibet said Monday some of the charges against Kunchok Tsephel are believed to relate to content posted on his Web site, and to information distributed about last year's anti-government protests.

The group says Chinese authorities arrested Kunchok Tsephel on February 26th at his home in a Tibetan area of southern China's Gansu province.

It says his family did not know where he was until last week when they were summoned to court to hear his sentencing.

The International Campaign for Tibet says in the past year, Chinese authorities have increased their efforts to silence Tibetans from speaking about the deadly crackdown on anti-government protests last year.

Tibetan exiles say more than 200 people were killed in Tibet and adjoining areas during the crackdown. The demonstrators were protesting Beijing's rule over their homeland, and what they perceive to be cultural and religious discrimination by the Chinese.

China says it freed Tibetans from a feudal serf system when it took over the area in 1951. But Tibetan exiles accuses Beijing of trying to force ethnic Tibetans from their ancestral lands to extract minerals and other resources.