Tag Archives | Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Fears for the safety of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s sister and niece detained after his cremation: home area ‘like a military zone’

July 23, 2015

  • There are fears for the safety of the sister of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Dolkar Lhamo, and her daughter, who are still being held by police following his cremation at a remote detention facility in his 13th year of imprisonment. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a revered religious teacher convicted on false ‘bombing’ charges, was one of the most prominent Tibetan political prisoners, and a number of governments urged the Chinese authorities to grant him medical parole.
  • Police acting on orders of higher authorities have seized the ashes of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche from Tibetan lamas who were carrying them back to his home monastery in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) after his cremation at a high-security detention facility where he apparently died.
  • There is a deepening crackdown in Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s home area, with the deployment of increased numbers of troops.
  • The hardline position being taken by the Communist Party authorities is evident in a state media article published in China Daily on July 20 (2015) entitled ‘Separatist leader’s death not worthy of lament’. After a week’s delay, the Chinese authorities announced that the cause of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s death was ‘sudden cardiac death’, according to a statement issued by Xinhua on July 18, 2015.
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Congressman McGovern Statement on Death of Tibetan Activist Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

July 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02), a senior House Democrat and Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, released the following statement on the death of Tibetan activist Tenzin Delek Rinpoche:

“Last week I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of the well-known Tibetan monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Tenzin Delek was serving a life sentence under very harsh conditions for allegedly ‘causing explosions’ and ‘inciting separatism,’ charges against which he steadfastly maintained his innocence. Just last April, I had written to the U.S. State Department to encourage our government officials to prioritize Tenzin Delek’s release on medical parole, because he was reported to be suffering from serious health problems. In late June, the State Department assured me the message had been transmitted, but now we see that China turned a callous blind eye to my pleas and those of many others. The Chinese authorities bear direct responsibility for Tenzin Delek’s unnecessary death.

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Body of revered Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche cremated in remote high-security prison facility

July 16, 2015

  • The body of revered Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was cremated today (July 16) amid high security at a remote detention facility where he died in his 13th year of a life sentence. His ashes are being taken back to his home county and monastery by his sisters and other relatives, according to his relatives in exile, where prayer ceremonies are expected to be held.
  • When the authorities refused to allow the body to be returned to his family for traditional prayer ceremonies, it was negotiated for some members of his family to visit the body late last night. They were taken to a high-security detention facility in an isolated area several kilometers from Chengdu – not Chuandong Prison where they had thought he was being held. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s body, still in prison uniform, was in a bed in a cell. According to the same sources, his mouth and nails were stained black, and details of the circumstances of his death are still not clear.
  • Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s family had urged the authorities not to rush a cremation, citing a provision in Chinese law that allows families to appeal against hasty cremations of prisoners. In an appeal letter they have written to the authorities, translated in full into English below, one of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s sisters said: “2. The body of the deceased cannot be taken home. We suspect the cause of death has some connection to the Prison. Please tell us clearly, which legal article states that the body of the deceased cannot be returned home.”
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Sisters of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche temporarily detained; sit-in outside prison where revered lama died

July 15, 2015

  • 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.
  • 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/
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Richard Gere

Testimony of Richard Gere Chairman of the Board of Directors International Campaign for Tibet before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

July 14, 2015

Co-chairman McGovern and Co-chairman Pitts, and other Members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, thank you for holding this important hearing today, and for inviting me to speak on the human rights situation in Tibet.

I am here as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet (or ICT for short), which, since 1988, has been working to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet. I feel that it’s particularly appropriate for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to be holding this hearing today in light of Tom Lantos’ steadfast commitment to Tibet, and his deep relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

It is with profound sadness that I give these remarks today. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was one of the most highly respected and revered Tibetan lamas. He was a teacher to tens of thousands of Tibetan and Chinese students. Arrested in 2002, Rinpoche spent the last 13 years of his life serving a life sentence for crimes he did not commit. After being tried in a closed session on charges of “terrorism and inciting separatism” and without due process of law, the worst possible outcome has arrived. Rinpoche has died in prison, while in the custody of the Chinese government. This is a profound tragedy for Tibetans and Buddhists throughout the world. The death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a tragic reminder of the injustices endured by Tibetans for exercising their right to religious freedom, and of the grim state of human rights in Tibet.

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Chinese troops open fire, beat Tibetan protestors after death of revered lama in prison

July 14, 2015

The Chinese authorities responded to peaceful protests yesterday following the death of Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche by deploying armed police to fire tear-gas and use physical violence against Tibetans.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, the influential and popular Tibetan lama who was one of Tibet’s most well-known political prisoners, died on July 12 in his 13th year of a life sentence in prison.

Around a thousand monks and local people gathered near his monastery in his home area of Nyagchuka (Chinese: Yajiang) in Kham to urge the local authorities to negotiate with the Sichuan Provincial Prison Management Bureau over returning the body of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche to his family and monastic community. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is believed to have passed away in Chuandong Prison, Chengdu, Sichuan, where he was being held, although the authorities have not provided information on the circumstances of his death.

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Death in prison of revered Tibetan religious leader: armed forces deployed as Tibetans express their grief

July 13, 2015

  • An influential and much-loved Tibetan lama, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, died on July 12 in his 13th year of a life sentence in prison. Armed security forces have been deployed as hundreds of Tibetans gathered today to call for his body to be returned to his monastery and community in the home area of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who was one of the most high-profile Tibetan political prisoners.
  • Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in prison without his family being allowed access except for one visit in 13 years, despite requests for his release on medical parole being made by a number of Western governments. His relatives said that in 2013, they became aware that he was suffering from a heart condition, frequent unconsciousness and uncontrollable shaking of parts of his body. It is not known whether Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who was 64, had received any medical treatment in prison.
  • In distress at the news of his death, hundreds of Tibetans, both monks and laypeople, have been gathering today in his home area of Nyagchuka (the Tibetan area of Kham), calling for answers from the authorities about the circumstances of his death and the release of his body for traditional prayers. In response the Chinese authorities have deployed armed troops, set up police checkpoints, blocked major roads, and cut communications in the area, according to Tibetan sources in exile.
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Call for Medical Parole for Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, on the 13th anniversary of his imprisonment

April 7, 2015

As we mark the 13th anniversary of the arrest and detention of Tibetan Buddhist leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on April 7, 2015, a US Congressman, Jim McGovern, has asked the State Department to raise the case of his medical parole citing news reports of his ill health.

In a letter to the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Sarah Sewall, dated April 1, 2015, Representative Jim McGovern, says, “I respectfully request that you and others at the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in China make his release on Medical Parole a priority so that he might have the opportunity for medical treatment outside Tibet and China as soon as possible.”

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China: Obama Should Publicly Call for Individuals’ Releases

October 30, 2014

Nine Organizations Urge Tough Approach to Deteriorating Rights Environment

(New York, October 30, 2014) — In a letter released today, nine leading non-governmental organizations urge President Obama to take up the Chinese government’s crackdown on civil society as a barrier to bilateral relations on his upcoming visit to China. President Obama will meet with President Xi Jinping in Beijing on November 12.

The letter urges President Obama to publicly call for the releases of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia; Uighur economist and advocate of interethnic dialogue Ilham Tohti; human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who is not free despite having been released from prison; and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist leader whose health is reportedly deteriorating after a decade in prison.

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12th anniversary of imprisoned Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014 marks the 12th anniversary of the arrest and detention of Tibetan Buddhist leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a reincarnated lama in the 1980s, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche has been a community leader and a staunch advocate for the protection and preservation of Tibetan culture, religion, and way of life for decades.

In 2002, the Rinpoche was arrested on false charges of exploding bombs and distributing separatist leaflets. The only evidence against him was extracted from a relative during torture. The relative later recanted, clearing Rinpoche of any wrong-doing. Rinpoche’s trial was held in secret and even though he had no independent legal counsel and the evidence against him was non-existent, he received a death sentence. The sentence was later commuted to life in prison, and he remains there today. Reports say that his health is failing.

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Tibetans defy security crackdown to demonstrate in support of imprisoned Tibetan lama

Security has been stepped up in of the Tibetan area of Kham, part of present-day Sichuan province, and dozens of Tibetans have been detained and beaten after peaceful demonstrations in support of the imprisoned Tibetan lama, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a highly respected religious teacher serving a life sentence. Increased numbers of armed police and troops […]

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Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the commuting of the death penalty for Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche

The European Union welcomes the decision by the Chinese authorities to commute the death sentence of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche to life imprisonment. However, the European Union remains very concerned about the persistent doubts surrounding the impartiality of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche’s trial, and about the heavy sentence handed down to him. The European Union would be […]

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Tibetan religious leader sentenced to life in prison; ICT calls for the immediate release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

The controversial death sentence of religious leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, imprisoned on charges of inciting seperatism, has been commuted to life imprisonment, Xinhua reported today (January 26). “This case has not yet been resolved justly. The International Campaign for Tibet calls for the immediate release of Tenzin Delek and urges governments to continue to explicitly […]

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European Parliament supports Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

In a strong show of support for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on the eve of the International Day of Action for the imprisoned Tibetan monk, the European Parliament has adopted a joint resolution calling for the Chinese government to” immediately commute the death sentence handed down to Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche”. The resolution was supported by 99 […]

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European rally to support Tenzin Delek Rinpoche a success

On Wednesday 8 December approximately 500 Tibetans and Tibet supporters from all across Europe gathered in The Hague, the Dutch seat of government, to urge European and Chinese leaders attending the annual EU-China Summit there to place Tibet at the heart of the EU-China partnership. Organized by the Dutch TSG and The International Campaign for […]

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Comment on Tenzin Delek Rinpoche from Sichuan official

A Chinese official in Sichuan province commented on the case of imprisoned Tibetan lama Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, saying that he had heard that he “behaved well in prison”, according to the news agency Agence France-Presse. The official, named as Zheng, at the south-west Sichuan province prison administrative bureau, said: “I heard they’re considering changing his […]

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US Senate unanimously passes Resolution 483 on Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

The US Senate passed a resolution by unanimous consent today calling for the release of respected religious teacher Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and other Tibetan political prisoners. Senate Resolution 483 stated that: “The government of the People’s Republic of China is in violation of international human rights standards by detaining and mistreating Tibetans who engage in […]

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December 2-10 is the International Week of Action for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

December 2 marks the second anniversary of Tenzin Delek’s trial at which he was found guilty of causing explosions and incitement to separatism and given a death sentence with a two-year suspension. December 10 is International Human Rights Day and celebrates the adoption by the UN in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights […]

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