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26january20103Dharamsala: For the release of Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a highly revered Tibetan Buddhist lama and community leader, from Chinese detention, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT India) today launched a signature campaign here in Dharamsala.

“Today, Tibet groups and supporters are holding actions around the world for the release of Trulku Tenzin Delek, whose initial death sentence was commuted to a life in prison due to international pressure from human rights groups and the United Nations”, Tenzin Choeying, SFT India International Coordinator said.

“To bring pressure on the Chinese government to bear is very important”, Mr. Tenzin further emphasized, “Thanks to international pressures from Tibet support groups and human right groups, many Tibetan political prisoners got released in the past”.

The 60 year-old Trulku Tenzin Delek was charged with "inciting separatism", "causing explosions" and "illegal possession of guns and ammunition", but no credible evidence for his crime has ever found by Chinese authorities.

The petition calls for the case against Tenzin Delek to be re-opened and, if no credible evidence is presented, for his release. And along with the petition, a letter will be sent to Zhou Yongkang, who was Party Secretary in Sichuan Province, where Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was detained, and he is currently the Secretary of the Central Politics and Law Committee.

The letter says:

Dear Mr Zhou,

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche (Chinese name: A’an Zhaxi) was unjustly persecuted by the Chinese authorities in Sichuan Province during your term as Party Secretary there.

Like the people of Lithang, Kham (Ch: Litang, Sichuan Province), we do not recognise the verdict against Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. No credible evidence has ever been presented to support the charges against him. As a revered Buddhist leader, it is unfathomable that he would have been involved in "conspiring to cause explosions".

We, the undersigned, call on you to immediately grant Tenzin Delek Rinpoche independent legal assistance and a new trial on the basis of three points: that there is no proof against him, that he steadfastly asserts his innocence, and that there is a widespread belief in Tibet and worldwide that he was framed by Chinese officials who viewed his influence as a threat to their power.

If, in a new trial, no credible evidence is presented against Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, we demand his release.

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