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 Delek 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 Delek of any wrong-doing. Delek’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. There is reason to believe he is suffering from heart disease and that he may have been tortured.
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is widely respected by the people (both Tibetan and Chinese) in his home county of Lithang in eastern Tibet. Over 40,000 of them have signed their names to a petition asking for the Delek’s release, each attesting to their signature by adding a thumbprint in red ink. Every single one of the 40,000 Tibetan signers knows that they risk their freedom and perhaps their lives by speaking out for the Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.
The International Campaign for Tibet is joining an international effort to match – and hopefully surpass – the total of 40,000 signatures on the petition to release Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Download a copy of ICT’s petition which you can send us for delivery to authorities in China, or visit the Free Tibetan Heroes website to sign their online petition. The Tibetan people are counting on sheer numbers to protect each other. We can help with that goal and we can help a good man regain his freedom.