The UN rights experts said they were “deeply concerned over the situation of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche” and “similarly concerned at the alleged lapses in respect for human rights during the trial proceedings and urge the authorities to grant Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche a new trial ensuring respect for international norms and standards of due process.”
The following statement was issued on April 14 by three fact-finding experts of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights:
We are deeply concerned over the situation of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a prominent Lama who was involved in social work in favour of the Tibetan community in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of the Sichuan Province and who promoted the reestablishment of Tibetan Buddhism in the region.
Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche was sentenced to death on 2 December 2002, after a trial that allegedly fell short of international norms and standards. His sentence has been suspended until 2 December 2004 and he remains in detention.
Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche was accused of “causing explosions” and “inciting the separation of the state”, charges he denies. His co-accused, Lobsang Dondrup, was executed on 26 January 2003. Numerous and credible reports have referred to serious procedural flaws during Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche’s closed trial, in particular: violation of the right to a public trial; violation of the right to chose his own lawyer; denial of the right to know and have the opportunity to examine the evidence presented against him in court; as well as incommunicado detention and ill-treatment during the pre-trial period.
We are concerned that Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche might be executed at any time upon the expiration of the suspension of his death sentence on 3 December 2004. We are similarly concerned at the alleged lapses in respect for human rights during the trial proceedings and urge the authorities to grant Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche a new trial ensuring respect for international norms and standards of due process.
The experts are:
- The Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ambeyi Ligabo
- The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, Hina Jilani.