The Washington Post reports today that a Chinese court has rejected an appeal from Tibetan environmentalist and philanthropist Karma Samdrup, who was sentenced on June 24 to 15 years in prison for robbing and dealing with looted antiquities. The charges against Samdrup date back to 1998, when he is said to have aquired looted artifacts, but were not pursued until this year.
Samdrup's attorney maintains that his client acquired the objects in good faith. The environmentalist's supporters have argued that the charges were brought against Samdrup after he pubically expressed support for his two brothers, who were detained after they accused Tibetan officials of poaching endangered species in Tibet. The supporters see the charges as punishment for Samdrup's decision to speak against Tibetan authoriies.