The Chinese government has commuted the death sentence on Trulku Tenzin Delek to life imprisonment. “ The Higher People’s Court in Sichuan province, in Southwestern China, commuted the death penalty with two-year reprieve for a Tibetan monk involve in terrorist bombings to life term on Wednesday”, Xinhua, the official news agency of the People’s Republic of China reported.
The court verdict also said, “A’an Zhaxi, also known as Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, was deprived of his political rights for life, which was handed down to him during the day.”
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) believes that the verdict was widely expected considering past record of such similar cases. Despite the news of a life sentence for Trulku, TCHRD strongly urges the Chinese government to conduct a fair re-trial while allowing Trulku legal representation of his own choosing.
Trulku, a highly respected Tibetan monk was a social activist who vociferously spearheaded activities for environmental protection, preservation of Tibetan Buddhism and culture was arrested on alleged charges of series of bomb blasts incidents in 2002 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture “TAP”
On 7 April 2002, Kardze Intermediate People’s Court charged Trulku of conducting “terrorist acts and inciting secession activities.” He was sentenced to death with two-year reprieve along with Lobsang Dhodup, an associate of Trulku on 2nd December, 2002. Lobsang Dhondup was executed in 26 January 2003.
Although the Sichuan Province Court claimed that Trulku had confessed to the crime, TCHRD received information from reliable sources that Trulku never confessed to the crime instead appealed for a re-trial which was turned down.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy believes that Trulku is innocent and was wrongly implicated in the bombing incidents. The Centre urges governments and international human rights agencies to continue to pressure China for a free and fair re-trial or release Trulku immediately and unconditionally.