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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Death in custody: Respected Tibetan leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

July 13, 2015

CTC calls upon Government of Canada to urge release of body to family members


Canada Tibet Committee, July 13, 2015 – Charismatic Tibetan community leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, has died in prison according to reports from Tibet.  The Canada Tibet Committee extends its heartfelt sympathy to Rinpoche’s family and community.

Reliable sources inside Tibet report that authorities have refused to release Rinpoche’s body to his family and that he will be cremated inside prison walls.  Rinpoche’s supporters have been gathering in and around Othok village in Nyakchuka County (ch: Yajiang) and security forces have been deployed in the area.  There are unconfirmed reports of police shooting into the crowd of mourners.

The CTC appeals to the Government of Canada to communicate with its Chinese counterparts urging the immediate release of Rinpoche’s body to his family and for restraint in the use of armed security forces.

Rinpoche, who had been an active promoter of Tibetan culture and language, spent thirteen years in prison for a crime which he did not commit.[1] Human rights organizations around the world have waged a year-long campaign to secure Rinpoche’s release on medical parole. [2]  

“The failure to win medical parole for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche represents a failure of the international community’s human rights strategy with China,” said Carole Samdup, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee.  “This case is a clear indicator that quiet negotiation will not compel China to comply with basic human rights standards”.


[1] A short brief of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s case history is found at:

[2] Information about the campaign for medical parole is found here:

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