New York, US -- Three activists from Students for a Free Tibet entered the Chinese Consulate in NYC to confront staff about Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's death in Chinese prison under suspicious circumstances. They entered with posters of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on July 13, calling on justice for his death and demanding the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's body. The action resulted in the consulate shutting its doors.
At the same time, family members and students of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche joined supporters for a protest rally in front of the consulate, the group said in a statement after the event.
The protest was in response to Tibetan political prisoner and Buddhist teacher Tenzin Delek Rinpoche passing away in Chinese prison as confirmed by his family members who were informed by the police in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on the 12th of July. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's family in Tibet are currently demanding that the prison authorities release his body for final Buddhist burial ceremonies.
Pema Yoko, Deputy Director of Students for a Free Tibet says: "We had to go into the Chinese Consulate because Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's family and Tibetans in Tibet are left with unanswered questions about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. Tibetans inside Tibet don't even have the space to grieve or protest - they are cut off from the world. It is time now for the world governments to strongly condemn China for the custodial death of an innocent man and launch an international inquiry into his death."
Tenzin Dolkar, Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet says: "An innocent Tibetan Buddhist monk has died at the hands of the Chinese government. His death is in every sense a political murder – a long, drawn out execution of a Tibetan hero who was a religious leader, environmentalist and rights advocate. We condemn the Chinese government for the murder of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. His death is a harsh reminder of the violent and brutal reality of Chinese-occupied Tibet and the fatal consequences for those who speak up for truth, justice, human rights and freedom for Tibetans in Tibet."