Lithang Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche (born 1950, in Lithang Thil, Tibet, died July 12 2015) is a Buddhist leader from eastern Tibet. He was convicted of carrying out bomb attacks by the Chinese authorities and sentenced to death in December 2002 along with Lobsang Dhondup, a relative of his. Lobsang was executed almost immediately, marking the first execution of a Tibetan for political crimes in 20 years. the Rinpoche was granted a two year reprieve. Overseas human rights groups and United Nations human rights experts protested that the case against him was seriously flawed, that he did not receive a fair trial, and was mistreated in detention.
This sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on 26 January 2005.
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in a prison in Dazhu county in Sichuan province, which borders the Tibetan region.
The Chinese authorities confirmed the death but have refused to give further details.
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. In a tape recording smuggled out of prison, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche denied the bombing charges against him. “I have always taught people that one should not harm any life, not even that of an ant,” he said. “How could I then possibly be responsible for such an action?”