Dolma Tso
Dolma Tso

DHARAMSALA, INDIA - Tibetans in exile say a court in southwestern China has given out two- and three-year prison terms to three Tibetans for their alleged involvement in a self-immolation last year.

The court in Sichuan province this week sentenced Konme and Gephel, each of whom goes by one name, and Dolma Tso on murder charges related to the death of Konchok Tseten, who died of self-immolation December 3.

The brother of Dolma Tso told reporters in Dharamsala that she had been tortured and beaten during her 11 months in detention after the self-immolation of Konchok Tseten. The brother added that she was not allowed to have a lawyer and that only her father and husband were permitted to attend her trial.

The brother said she was accused of transporting Konchok Tseten's body after he took his life.

The news conference announcing the sentences was organized by Gu Chu Sum, an organization of former political prisoners that is calling on the international community to press China for the release of the three.

Chinese authorities have not commented.

More than 130 Tibetans  have self-immolated inside China since 2009. Many left behind notes saying they were doing so to protest Chinese rule over their homeland.

China has said the suicide protests are acts of terrorism.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.