Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a highly respected Buddhist monk from eastern Tibet, was sentenced to death on December 2nd, 2002 on charges of involvement in a series of unsolved explosions. His co-defendent, Lobsang Dhondup, was executed shortly after. The two-year suspension of Tenzin Delek's sentence expired on January 26th, 2005, and Chinese authorities, under intense international pressure, commuted his sentence to life in prison. Human rights organizations around the world believe Tenzin Delek was framed because he is viewed by the Chinese government as a threat to their control of Tibet. Tibet has been occupied by China for more than fifty years.Tenzin Delek is known for his dedication to preserving Tibetan religion and culture and protecting the environment. He built many schools, monasteries, and orphanages in his area, and is an advocate of the Dalai Lama's philosophy of nonviolence. Because of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's influence in his community and his efforts to preserve Tibetan identity, he was an obstacle to the Chinese authorities' control in the region. Over the course of a decade, he was the target of harassment, intimidation, and control by Chinese officials.
The Chinese government did not present credible evidence against Tenzin Delek Rinpoche or any of the Tibetans detained in connection with this case. They were denied access to independent lawyers and did not have a fair trial. A life sentence in a Chinese prison, where torture and mistreatment are commonplace, is a death sentence of a different kind. Students for a Free Tibet and other organizations around the world are calling on China to release Tenzin Delek Rinpoche immediately.
Please help free Tenzin by sending a message to the Chinese government today. You can also click here to find other ways to help save this innocent man's life.
29 Jan 2006
I never heard of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk incarcerated by the Chinese, until I noticed his stencil face appearing on the streets of Manchester, with a 'savetenzin.org' slogan beneath. The website reveals that the man was actually arrested in April 2002 and faced grievous charges that warranted his death penalty. Fortunately however, due to international pressure, his sentence was reduced to life inprisonment in January 2005. Today, there is still mass support and belief in his innocence evident in ongoing petitions and the Amnesty International report. The challenge now is to support the release of an innocent man. So spare a thought and some time if you may, to send a message to the government of China for his release.
Savetenzin.org is a project of Students for a Free Tibet.