China Sentences Tibetan Activist to 15 Years

Karma Samdrup (File)

China has sentenced a prominent Tibetan environmentalist to 15 years in prison on charges of dealing in looted antiquities more than a decade ago.

News reports from Beijing say Karma Samdrup was convicted Thursday after a three-day trial. He is expected to appeal.

Samdrup was arrested in January on charges dating back to 1998.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch has said the case against Samdrup has been marked by "severe and numerous procedural violations and restrictions on his right to defense."

The group has called on China to release him and investigate allegations of torture that he and his lawyer made at a court hearing.

Samdrup's wife said her husband's appearance shocked her when she saw him at a court hearing Tuesday in Yanji, in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.