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Seven released in Nyagchuka, situation "tense"

December 19, 2009

Phayul [Friday, December 18, 2009 20:55]
By Kalsang Rinchen

Dharamsala, December 18 ? Seven Tibetans arrested earlier for holding
protest demonstration on December 5 to petition the release of a jailed
Tibetan religious figure in Tibet?s Nyagchuka County had been released
Tuesday, the Voice of Tibet radio service reported today citing a source
with contacts in the region.

Tsering Dorjee, a Tibetan residing in exile, told the radio service that
the seven Tibetans had been beaten up severely in detention, and the
condition of one of them was ?extremely serious" with a head injury and
is receiving treatment in a hospital at a place called Gara (spelled as
pronounced). The seven are Tsering Sangpo, Jinpa, Lhamo Choedup, Tsagey
Atha, Jamdrel and two others, said Dorjee.

Around twenty Tibetans are still held in detention following protests by
hundreds of local Tibetans from nearby villages demanding the release of
Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, currently serving life sentence in
Mianyang Prison in Sichuan.

According to Dorjee, the local Tibetans suspect that the authorities are
withholding the detained Tibetans? release as they might have been
?severely tortured and beaten? and that their condition might provoke
reprisal from relatives and locals.

Despite the release of the seven Tibetans the situation in Nyagchuka
County continues to be grim with the authorities deploying armed
paramilitary forces and police in the areas affected by the protests,
the International Campaign for Tibet said in a report citing exile
sources with contacts in the region.

The Tibetans in Nyakchuka County argue that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche had
been jailed in a ?fabricated? case and that there is no proof with the
authorities against Rinpoche.

The authorities offered some concessions as a result of requests by some
local Buddhist leaders who feared the Tibetans might rise up in protest.
However, it is not known if the Chinese authorities will actually
implement the concessions, according to the ICT.

One source cited by ICT said that the absence of Trulku Tenzin Delek (a
reincarnated Lama revered by Tibetan Buddhists), there has been a rise
in the number of ?thieves, trouble makers, hunters and alcoholics in
their region? and that ?there was nothing the government could do to
improve the situation? without Rinpoche being released.

He was hugely popular for his humanitarian works including setting up of
schools, elderly people?s homes, working with local officials to protect
forests and his efforts to preserve Tibetan culture.

On December 2 2002, the Kardze Intermediate People's Court in the Kardze
Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, sentenced Lobsang
Dhondup, a relative of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, to death for "inciting
separatism", "causing explosions" and "illegal possession of guns and
ammunition". He was executed on January 26, 2003, despite international
outcry. On the same day, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was sentenced to death
with a two year reprieve for "causing explosions" and "inciting
separatism". Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, based at a monastery in
nomad-dominated Othok, had his sentence commuted to life in 2005.
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