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Dharamshala:- Nine leading non-governmental organizations, including International Campaign for Tibet had urged, President Obama, to publicly call for the release of imprisoned political prisoners during his upcoming visit to China.

In a letter issued on October 30, it said: "The extraordinary rise of civil society and the growing role of independent lawyers, writers, and other activists working tirelessly to promote universally recognized human rights has been one of the most positive developments in China in the past decade.

"The deteriorating human rights environment and the extraordinary damage done to China's civil society should be given greater prominence in the bilateral relationship generally and your upcoming trip in particular.

"We believe that by publicly raising the cases of particular activists during your visit to Beijing, you may afford them protection from ill-treatment or torture in detention, and increase the prospects of parole or humanitarian release. Even if these results are not achieved, your speaking about these activists now would bring them and their family members a degree of hope."

The letter urged the President to publicly call for the release of Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia; Uighur economist and advocate of interethnic dialogue Ilham Tohti; human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who is not free despite having been released from prison; and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a revered Tibetan religious leader. Born in 1950 in Kham, Tibet. He was tried on November 29, 2002 for his alleged involvement in bombing and was sentenced to death with a two-year execution adjournment.

Tibetan activists and rights groups protested the sentence by questioning the fairness of the trial, and mistreatment meted out to him during detention. His sentence was later commuted to life sentence on January 26, 2005. Latest report confirmed that his health is deteriorating after a decade in prison.

The nine organizations include Amnesty International, Freedom House, Freedom Now, Human Rights First, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch.

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