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7 April 2015; For Immediate Release

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a highly respected Tibetan buddhist monk, is known to be in extremely poor health with a serious heart condition.



Tenzin Jigdal,, + 91 9882 255516 (India, Tibetan, English)

Alison Reynolds,, + 44 7711 843884 (UK, English)

The International Tibet Network,1 a global coalition of 180 non-governmental organizations, is appealing to world governments to urgently pursue the medical parole of long-term political prisoner and Tibetan Buddhist monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.(2)

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche has been in prison for 13 years and is known to be in extremely poor health with a serious heart condition and high blood pressure. During a rare visit to see Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, his family spoke to a doctor who told them that he believed Tenzin Delek Rinpoche had a serious heart condition for which he needed surgery.

An official application for medical parole was made by Tenzin Delek’s family in 2014. Authorities have not responded to the application nor have they granted visitation rights to the family. Tenzin Delek is entitled to both visitation rights and medical parole under Chinese law.

The past success of international diplomacy is evident in the numerous Tibetan political prisoners released on medical parole after foreign governments raised urgent cases directly with Chinese authorities.(3)

“ Raising the case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, with a specific reference to medical parole, may not only afford him protection from further ill-treatment but significantly increase the prospects of him receiving the parole and medical care he so desperately needs.” said Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network.

Charged with “crimes of terror and incitement of separatism”, Tenzin Delek was sentenced to death, with a 2-year reprieve, on 2 December 2002 by the Kardze (CH: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Intermediate People’s Court. His conviction was based on a confession obtained under torture by his alleged co-conspirator, Lobsang Dondrup, who was also found guilty and executed on 26 January 2003. Tenzin Delek’s case was commuted to a life sentence in 2005, and subsequently reduced to 20 years. During the trial, no evidence other than the confession of Lobsang Dondrup was offered into evidence and Tenzin Delek maintained his innocence throughout. To date, no court documents have been released, shrouding the proceedings in secrecy.(4)

Tenzin Jigdal added:  “It is ironic that Zhou Yongkang,(5) who was Party Secretary in Sichuan Province when Tenzin Delek was persecuted and detained in 2002, is now himself facing a possible suspended death sentence.”

Later this year the United Nations Committee Against Torture will review China’s compliance with the Convention against Torture. The level of violence directed at Tibetan political prisoners is extreme and results in Tibetans being left with severe scars following a period of detention, including paralysis, the loss of limbs, organ damage, and serious psychological trauma.(6) Tibetans, whose lives might have been saved following torture, often die because of deliberate withholding of medical treatment. This is in contravention of both international and Chinese Criminal Law regarding medical access for detainees.

Notes to Editors

  1. International Tibet Network is a global coalition of 180 Tibet Groups working to end the human rights violations in Tibet and restore the Tibetan people’s right under international law to determine their own political, economic, social, religious, and cultural status –
  2. A new short report summarising Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s case is available at and further campaign information at
  3. Dui Hua, Medical Parole Prisoners to 2005 and further examples of Tibetan political prisoners released on medical parole,
  4. Human Rights Watch, Trials of a Tibetan Monk.
  5. Zhou was charged with bribery, abuse of power and the intentional disclosure of state secrets. For a profile of Zhou Yongkang see
  6. International Campaign for Tibet


Member Groups of International Tibet Network

Western Europe:

Aide aux Refugies Tibetains

Association Dorje

Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet

Associazione Italia-Tibet

Briancon05 Urgence Tibet

Caisse d’Aide aux Prisonniers Tibetains

Casa del Tibet – Spain

Comite de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)

Comite de Soutien au Peuple Tibetain (Les Lilas)

Corse – Tibet

Eco-Tibet France

EcoTibet Ireland


Free Tibet

Groupe Non-Violent Louis Lecoin, France

Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal

International Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter (IGFM)

Jamtse Thundel Association

La Porte du Tibet, Geneva

Les Amis du Tibet – Belgium

Les Amis du Tibet Luxembourg

Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc, France

Maison des Himalayas

Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info

Nice Tibet

Nos Amis de l’Himalaya

Objectif Tibet

Passeport Tibetain

Phagma Drolma-Arya Tara

Reseau International des Femmes pour le Tibet

Save Tibet, Austria

Society for Threatened Peoples International

Students for a Free Tibet – France

Students for a Free Tibet – UK

Tibet 59 / 62

Tibet Democratie

Tibet Initiative Deutschland

Tibets Kinder im Exile V.

Tibet Liberte Solidarite

Tibet Libertes, France

Tibet Society, U.K.

Tibet Support Group – Ireland

Tibet Support Group – Netherlands

Tibet Unterstutzung Liechtenstein

Tibetan Association of Germany

Tibetan Community Austria

Tibetan Community in Britain

Tibetan Community in Ireland

Tibetan Youth Association in Europe

Tsowa-Maintenir la Vie, France

Autodétermination-Tibet 09/31

Tibetan Community of Italy

Tibetaanse-Vlaamse Vriendenkring vzw

Lungta Association Belgium


Northern Europe:

Association of Free Tibet

Friends of Tibet in Finland

Swedish Tibet Committee

The Norwegian Tibet Committee

Tibet Support Committee Denmark

Tibetan Community in Denmark

Tibetan Community Sweden

Students for a Free Tibet Denmark


Central & Eastern Europe:

Fair Society o.s.

Friends of Tibet Slovakia

Friends of Tibet Society St. Petersburg, Russia

International Youth Human Rights Group – Human Rights in Tibet

Lithuanian Tibet Culture Foundation

Polish Movement for a Free Tibet

Save Tibet Foundation

Society for Croatia-Tibet Friendship

Students for a Free Tibet, Poland

The Foundation for Civil Society, Russia

Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech)

Tibet Support Association – Hungary

Tibet Support Group – Krasnodar Region, Russia

Tibet Support Group – Romania

Tibet Support Group – Sochi Region, Russia

Tibetan Community in Poland

Tibetan Programme of The Other Space Foundation

TSG – Slovenia

Union Latvija Tibetai (Latvia for Tibet )

Zida Cels, Latvia

Tibetan Association of Slovakia

Friends of Tibet Bulgaria


North America:

Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina

Bay Area Friends of Tibet

Boston Tibet Network

Canada Tibet Committee

Colorado Friends of Tibet

Committee of 100 for Tibet

Dhokam Chushi Gangdruk

International Tibet Independence Movement

Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association

San Diego Friends of Tibet

Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet

Sierra Friends of Tibet

Snow Lion Foundation

Students for a Free Tibet

Students for a Free Tibet – Canada

The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago

The World Tibet Day Foundation

Tibet Committee of Fairbanks

Tibet Justice Center

Tibetan Association of Ithaca

Tibetan Association of Northern California

Tibetan Association of Philadephia

Tibetan Association of Santa Fe

Tibetan Association of Southern California

Tibetan Cultural Association – Quebec


Tibet Oral History Project

Toronto Tibet Youth Congress

U.S. Tibet Committee

Western Colorado Friends of Tibet

Wisconsin Tibetan Association

United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)

Central and South America

Amigos del Tibet, El Salvador

Asociación Cultural Peruano Tibetana *

Asociación Cultural Tibetano – Costarricense

Casa Tibet Mexico

Centro De Cultura Tibetana – Brazil *

Centro Cultural Colombo Tibetano

Grupo De Apoyo a Tibet Chile *

Grupo Pro-Cultura Tibetana, Chile *

Le Club Francais – Paraguay

Tibet Mx (Pensando en Tibet)

Tibet Group-Panama

Tíbet Patria Libre, Uruguay

Fundación Pro Tibet – Argentina

Friends of Tibet in Costa Rica

World League for Freedom and Democracy



Bharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, India

Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India

Foundation for Universal Responsibility of H. H. the Dalai Lama


Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet

Himalayan Committee for Action on Tibet

India Tibet Friendship Society

Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)

Lung-Ta Project

Mahatma Gandhi Tibet Freedom Movement

National Campaign for Tibetan Support, India

National Democratic Party of Tibet

Roof of the World Foundation, Indonesia

Students for a Free Tibet Japan

Students for a Free Tibet India

Taiwan Friends of Tibet

Taiwan Tibet Exchange Foundation

The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and Turkestan

Tibet Lives, India

Tibet Solidarity Forum, Bangladesh

Tibet Support Group Kiku, Japan

Tibet Support Network Japan

Tibetan Student Association, Madras (TSAM)

Tibetan Rights and Freedom Committee (TRFRC)

Tibetan Women’s Association (Central)

Tibetan Youth Congress

Japan Committee of 100 for TIbet

Ns3 Rigpa Community Builder’s Foundation

Anterrashtriya Bharat – Tibbet Sahyog Samiti



A.C.T. Tibet Support Group

Australia Tibet Council

Friends of Tibet New Zealand

Students for a Free Tibet New Zealand

Tibet Action Group of Western Australia

Tibet Support Group Adelaide – Australia

Tibetan Community of Victoria

Tibetan Women Association and Friends Australia (TWAFA)

Sakya Trinley Ling


Africa and Middle East

Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People

Tibet Support Group Kenya

Dalai Lama Movement East Africa