Leader of Tibetan exiles criticizes China for convicting Tibetans over self-immolations

The political leader of Tibetan exiles has accused China of holding "sham" trials in which eight Tibetans were convicted of inciting others to self-immolate to protest Chinese rule.

Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan government-in-exile's prime minister, said Friday the convictions were "unfortunate" because "repression is the cause of the self-immolations."

About 100 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protest China's heavy-handed rule.

China's official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday that a Tibetan was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and his nephew given a 10-year prison sentence for encouraging eight people to self-immolate last year, three of whom died.

Xinhua also said another court sentenced six ethnic Tibetans to between three and 12 years in prison for their roles in a self-immolation.