08/07/2013, 00.00
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China frees four Tibetans jailed for protesting in Beijing for monk’s release

They spent two weeks in jail for a peaceful protest in favor of Trulku Tenzin Delek. The monk is serving a life sentence on false charges of terrorism. In the '80s he had met the Dalai Lama and since then was suspected of "plotting against China." In prison since 2002, according to the family he is tortured and his health is rapidly deteriorating.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - China has released four Tibetans jailed for two weeks for protesting in a peaceful manner in Beijing. The prisoners called for the release of Tenzin Delek Trulku (see photo), a well known monk from Nyagchu County (Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province), sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 on false charges of terrorism. According to supporters, in these 11 years in prison, the lama has been subjected to torture of all kinds and his health conditions are very serious

Sources of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) report that the four - Sogren Lori, 66; Lugzi Abey, 50; Lhagma Choedup, 64; Trinley, 46 - were arrested on 20 July in Chengdu, as they returned from Beijing. The event was also attended by Donkar Lamo, Trulku Tenzin Delek's 47-year old sister, but she was not arrested. The Chinese authorities escorted the Tibetans to Kara Detention Centre in Nyagchu.

Those arrested arrived in the Chinese capital on July 9, taking with them a petition signed - among others - by hundreds of supporters of the imprisoned lama. Born in 1950 in Lithang, Trulku entered the monastery at the age of 7. In 1978, he met the 10th Panchen Lama, who spoke of his concerns about the torture of Tibetans by the Chinese regime. In 1983, the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of Geshe Phuntsok Adham, and gave him the name of Trulku Tenzin Delek.

For his contacts with the Dalai Lama, from 1987 - when he returned to Tibet - he was placed under surveillance by Beijing, accused of plotting against the regime. Between 2001 and 2002 a series of explosions hit the prefecture of Kardze. Chinese police arrested Lobsang Dhondup, a relative and disciple of Trulku for "involvement" in the attacks.

Discovering the link between the two, Beijing also arrested the lama. Although he always declared himself innocent and unrelated to the facts, the Chinese authorities sentenced the two to life imprisonment. Trulku's family - who have been able to see him only a few times over the past 11 years of his imprisonment - he has been tortured and is in a critical state of health. He lost a lot of weight, suffers from heart problems and high blood pressure, and has suffered major damage to a leg, because of which he is forced to use a cane. (NC)



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