Lobsang Tsering was detained by the Chinese police in August 2012. In December, the police announced that they had accused Lobsang of inciting the self-immolation of eight Tibetans, even though five of the self-immolations never occurred. While under arrest, the Supreme Court of China, on December 5, 2012, stated that “criminals behind the scenes who plan, incite, aide, abet... and help those perpetrating self-immolations will be investigated for criminal liability in the crime of intentional murder.” On January 31, 2013, Lobsang was convicted of the "intentional homicide" of eight Tibetans in Ngaba, and as a result, he was sentenced to ten years in prison. His sentence, along with that of his uncle (a Tibetan monk tried at the same time), were the first to be imposed against individuals who have allegedly ‘incited’ or ‘coerced’ Tibetans to self-immolate.
Lobsang was denied the right to a fair trial, according to Xinhua, a state run news agency that acknowledged that Lobsang was not represented by a lawyer during the court proceedings. Additionally, despite a claim made by a judge who told the Global Times that: "authorities obtained sufficient evidence showing it [the alleged crimes] had been instructed by 'forces from abroad,” Xinhua only documented one form of evidence presented by the court: two confessions made by Lobsang and his uncle, Lobsang Kunchok, who was also arrested and tried under the same charges as his nephew. In their statements, they admitted to encouraging Tibetans to self-immolate under the instructions of the Dali Lama. Many question the accuracy of these confessions because Chinese authorities are known to use torture to extract information out of detainees, and it is feared this may have happened in this case. On January 31, 2013 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with his political rights deprived for three years.
Advocate: Gerald Connolly (D-VA).
- At a hearing of the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on December 6. 2017, entitled "U.S. Policy Toward Tibet: Access, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights," Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) spoke about Lobsang Tsering's case and called for the Chinese government to release Lobsang.