Sisters of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche temporarily detained; sit-in outside prison where revered lama died

  • The two sisters of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, the revered Tibetan lama who died on July 12, were detained for some hours today (July 15) in the prison where their brother had died yesterday after they refused to sign a document purportedly about his health condition.[1]
  • Around a hundred Tibetans gathered outside Chuandong Prison in Chengdu, Sichuan, yesterday (July 14) to hold a peaceful sit-in calling upon the Chinese authorities to release the body of the popular monk to his family and monastery after some Tibetans were refused permission to see the body.
  • The exile Tibetan administration in Dharamsala, India, released images of Tibetans who had been wounded when police opened fire at Tibetans anguished at Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death in his home county, Nyagchuka in Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Kham): http://tibet.net/2015/07/grievous-photos-emerge-of-tibetans-injured-in-chinese-firing/

New information from Tibetan relatives of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche in exile indicates that his two sisters have been under increasing pressure since news of his death was broken to the family on July 12. The sisters were detained today for around ten hours, according to the same sources, at the same prison as their brother had been held, when they refused to sign a document that was described to them as being the health record of their brother. The sisters were apparently told that they would not be able to keep a copy, and the information on the document was not clear.

One of the sisters apparently fainted while in the prison, before the two women were allowed to leave.

In further news from the area, several groups of Tibetans were denied permission to see revered Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s body when they arrived at the prison management office yesterday (July 14). They were also refused answers to questions about how he died.

In response, around a hundred Tibetans began a peaceful sit-in outside the gates of Chuandong prison in Chengdu, the Sichuan provincial capital, yesterday (July 14). New images show them protesting, and police gathering outside the gates. The circumstances of 64-year old Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death remain unclear.

At a hearing yesterday (July 14) in the U.S. Congress, lawmakers held a moment of silence and audience members held up pictures of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

Dr. Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Department of State,[2] and Richard Gere, Chair of ICT’s Board of Directors,[3] Kaydor Aukatsang from the Office of Tibet, and Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch gave strong statements remembering the Tibetan lama at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on Tibet at the U.S. Congress. The hearing is archived at: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/67550348

sit-in and police gathering

Around a hundred Tibetans gathered outside Chuandong Prison in Chengdu, Sichuan, yesterday (July 14) to hold a peaceful sit-in calling upon the Chinese authorities to release the body of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche to his family and monastery. The images show the sit-in and police gathering outside the main gate.
The news of 64-year old Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death in the 13th year of a life sentence was given to his family on Sunday (July 12); the circumstances remain unclear.


Footnotes
[1] http://www.savetibet.org/chinese-troops-open-fire-beat-tibetan-protestors-after-death-of-revered-lama-in-prison/

[2] Testimony at: http://m.state.gov/md244911.htm

[3] Richard Gere’s testimony is at: http://www.savetibet.org/testimony-of-richard-gere-chairman-of-the-board-of-directors-international-campaign-for-tibet-before-the-tom-lantos-human-rights-commission/

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