Political Prisoners

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Revered Tibetan leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was arrested in 2002 and given a suspended death sentence for a crime he did not commit. His sentence was commuted to life in 2005. He is currently in poor health in a prison in Sichuan and the authorities have denied his request for Tibetan medication.                                                         >>Read more

Dhondup Wangchen

Tibetan film-maker Dhondup Wangchen has been sentenced to a six year jail term, for filming interviews with ordinary Tibetans about their views on the Olympic Games, the Dalai Lama and Chinese government policies in Tibet. Although China has not yet officially confirmed the sentencing of Dhondup Wangchen, the Tibetan government in exile and Radio Free Asia have reported that sentence was passed on 28 December 2009. They also report that Dhondup Wangchen intends to appeal.

Dhondup Wangchen was arrested in Tibet on 26 March 2008 for filming interviews with ordinary Tibetans on their views on the Olympic Games, the Dalai Lama and Chinese government policies in Tibet. The interviews were made into a documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind”, which gives the viewer a rare glimpse into the reality of Tibetans living under Chinese occupation and has now been screened in 30 countries.            >> Read more

Runggye Adak

On August 1, 2007, Runggye Adak, a nomad from Lithang, Kham in eastern Tibet stepped on stage at a Chinese government function commemorating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army, to present a ceremonial kata (white scarf) to the chief Lama of Lithang monastery.

When Runggye Adak was sentenced he was said to have told the court: “I wanted His Holiness to return, and I wanted to raise Tibetan concerns and grievances, as there is no outlet for us to do so. That made me sad and made me act.”                     >>Read more

Norzin Wangmo

Norzin Wangmo is a female cadre and writer from Ngaba Trochu county in Ngaba eastern Tibet.

Exact details of the charges against her are not known, but she was convicted and sentenced on 3 November 2008 to five years in prison for passing news through the phone and internet about the situation in Tibet to the outside world.

According to a report, Norzin Wangmo, who is also described by a Tibetan friend as ‘Walza’, meaning ‘courageous’, underwent torture following her detention in April.      >>Read more

Gompo Tsering

Gonpo Tsering is a well-respected expedition guide with much experience of leading foreign celebrities on treks in Tibet and for participating in high profile mountain rescue efforts. In 2009 he was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “inciting separatism”, for sending information by text during the 14 March 2008 protests in Lhasa.                                      >>Read more

Lobsang Tenzin

Lobsang Tenzin was in his mid twenties on 5 March 1988 when he took part in a protest for Tibetan freedom in Lhasa. At the time he was a student at the Tibet University. He was one of five Tibetans charged in the death of a police officer who fell from a window during the protest. In January 1989 Lobsang Tenzin was sentenced to death with a two year reprieve; in 1993 the sentence was commuted to a 20 year prison term.                                                                                          >>Read more

Paljor Norbu

The arrest and sentencing of Paljor Norbu, an 81 year-old Tibetan and master printer of Buddhist texts demonstrates the extreme injustice of the Chinese government’s crackdown in Tibet following the Uprising in 2008.

Paljor Norbu was arrested on 31 October 2008 under suspicion of printing “prohibited materials” including the Tibetan flag. In a secret trial in November, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. Chinese authorities have not disclosed the details of the trial but based on the length of his prison sentence, Human Rights Watch suggests he was likely convicted of “inciting separatism”. His family has not been allowed to see him.                                                           >>Read more

Bangri Chongtrul Rinpoche

Bangri Chongtrul Rinpoche is a community leader serving a 19-year prison term for “attempting to split the country and destroy national unity.” He was born in what is now Nangchen County, Kyegudo Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

In 1996, he and his wife Nyima Choedron founded Gyatso orphanage in Lhasa, designed to help some of the city’s most deprived children. At its peak, the orphanage was home to 60 children and received some funding from overseas charities. The orphans were given education in Tibetan language, Chinese language, English language and mathematics. Bangri Rinpoche and Nyima Choedron ran the orphanage and were well respected for their service to the community.                                  >>Read more

Sangye Lhamo

Sangye Lhamo is from Dungra Village, Serchuteng Township, Kardze County, Kham in eastern Tibet and was a nun at Dragkar Nunnery at the time of her arrest.

On May 28, 2008 Sangye Lhamo and two other nuns from her nunnery, Tsewang Kando (38) and Yeshi Lhadon (24), were detained at the market square of Kardze Town as they distributed leaflets calling for Tibet’s independence. Witnesses also claim that the three women shouted slogans – “Long Live the Dalai Lama” and “Freedom for Tibet.” Their whereabouts are unknown.      >>Read More

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