Nov 28, 2013

Tibet: Tibetans In Exile Pressure For Buddhist Leader Release

Tibetans in exile have come together to urge the international community to put pressure on China to immediately release the imprisoned religious leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who, they believe, has been imprisoned under false allegations of planting a bomb and dividing the nation. Human rights groups and UN experts have protested Rinpoche’s life imprisonment and the mistreatment suffered during his 11 years of detention.

Below is an article published by The Tibet Post:

Tibetans in exile, on Monday, 25 Nov. [2013] appealed International community and Tibet support groups to urge and pressure China to release the imprisoned Buddhist leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who is serving a life sentence.

Today marks eleven years, since Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Chinese Government. "Whatever the Chinese authorities do and say, he is completely innocent, a newly formed group of his followers in exile called "Service-committee to Tenzin Delek Rinpoche" said at a press conference held in Dharamshala, India.

Commemorating his 64th Birthday, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and members of the committee released a thirty-minute long documentary film on Rinpoche, "Fearless Times of Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche."

The Buddhist monk who served 11 years of a life sentence in a Chinese jail "turns 64 Monday, November 25," the group said in a statement.

"As the whole world knows, the religious leader was charged with false allegation, accusing him of exploding bomb and splitting the nation," the statement added.

The group said that 'some of his relatives had visited him a couple of times since he was jailed in 2002. A recent time they met him was in Chuandong Prison in Dazhu County on August 16, 2013, where they had around half an hour conversation.'

A recent letter from the Buddhist leader said that he had "done nothing to violate Chinese laws, further asking his relatives to arrange for re-trial or appeal for medical parole."

"Unfortunately, the letter was forcibly seized by local police of the Nyagchu County and never returned, after they promised to hand over it to a next visitor," they added.

"Therefore, some of his relatives had approached with lawsuit to the higher Chinese court about the false judgements, but their all appeals rejected," the group stated.

In a secretly recorded message, smuggled out of Tibet, he had said: "Whatever the authorities do and say, I am completely innocent."

The last time they met him was on November 6, 2013. During the meeting, he has strongly reiterated his innocence and urged his followers and students to appeal the Chinese government for his immediate release.

"You make appeals to authorities as much as you can. There are people who are making appeals for me, there are people who are talking about my condition getting worse. If there was a possibility to fall then I should have already fallen. You do appeal and campaign, anything that you could do," Tenzin Delek had told them.

"We strongly appeal International community- governments, NGOs Tibet support groups and individuals to urge and pressure China to release Tenzin Delek Rinpoche immediately," the newly formed committee said.

His "condition has become very critical, whole body shakes uncontrollably while communicating with someone and he also falls unconscious sometimes. Therefore, it is extremely worrisome that how long he will survive," the committee told reporters.

Human rights groups and United Nations human rights experts protested that the case against him was seriously flawed, that he did not receive a fair trial, and was mistreated in detention.
He is also widely known for working to develop social, medical, educational and religious institutions for Tibetan nomads in eastern Tibet, as an advocate for environmental conservation in the face of indiscriminate logging and mining projects, and as a mediator between Tibetans and Chinese.

Tenzin Delek also became a public figure by leading social welfare activities such as building schools and hospitals. During his five-year stay in India from 1982-1987, He had an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who praised him for his work in Tibet.