(TibetanReview.net, Apr07, 2015) – A global coalition of 180 Tibet campaign groups has on Apr 7 called on China to release on medical parole a revered Tibetan Buddhist leader believed to be held in Chuandong No. 3 Prison in Dazhu County of Dazhou Prefecture, Sichuan Province, and serving a life-sentence on a fake bombing campaign charge. During a rarely permitted prison visit, a doctor had told the family that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche had a serious heart condition and needed surgery, said International Tibet Network.
The family had made an official application for medical parole in 2014 but the authorities neither responded nor granted its members any further visitation rights.
Known for his humanitarian and environmental activism, local officials had long resented the monk’s popularity among the local public and had made several attempts to implicate him in false cases. He was eventually charged with “crimes of terror and incitement of separatism” on a bombing allegation based on a confession under torture by his associate Lobsang Dondrup and sentenced to death, with a two-year reprieve, on Dec 2, 2002. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2005 and later reduced to 20 years. Lobsang Dondrup was executed on Jan 26, 2003.
During the trial, which was held in secret, the only evidence the court relied on to sentence the monk to death was said to be Lobsang Dondrup’s claimed confession. Tenzin Delek has maintained his innocence throughout.
In their press statement, International Tibet Network has said both the denial of medical care and visitation rights were violations of China’s own law. It has also said that Tibetans, whose lives might have been saved following torture, often die because of deliberate withholding of medical treatment in contravention of both international and Chinese Criminal Law regarding medical access for detainees.