A Chinese court rejected the appeal of a Tibetan environmentalist and businessman, his lawyer said on Monday. Karma Samdrup had been sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of robbing tombs and dealing in looted relics.
The London-based Free Tibet Campaign says the charges against Samdrup are trumped-up. They say the real reason for his imprisonment is that he spoke out for his two brothers—who were arrested for accusing a local official of poaching endangered wildlife. In 2006, China Central Television had named Samdrup "philanthropist of the year"—but after the recent incident with his brothers, Samdrup had been brought to trial—for charges dating back to 1998.
Samdrup's lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, told the Associated Press that Samdrup's appeal had been rejected four weeks ago on July 7, but he was only told about it this Monday. And the court neither responded to his appeal documents, nor gave a reason for the rejection.