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Venerable Tenzin Lhundup
Venerable Tenzin Lhundup

A senior Tibetan monk has been sentenced to twelve years of rigorous imprisonment Diru (Ch: Biru) county, Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Venerable Tenzin Lhundup, an accomplished Buddhist scholar at Gom Gongsar Monastery in Lenchu(Ch: Liangqu) township of Diru County, was sentenced in May 2015, according to reliable information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Venerable Tenzin Lhundup was sentenced after a year of his arbitrary detention in May 2014. For almost a year, he had been detained in Lhasa and the police did not provide any information to his family and friends about his whereabouts or condition. The news of his sentencing was the only confirmation his family had about his status in over a year, that he had somehow survived the beatings and torture in detention.

TCHRD earlier reported in July 2014 on the arbitrary detention of the Buddhist scholar in May 2014 when he was addressing a public gathering about the on the “status of Tibetan language and nationality” (Tib. mi rigs dang skad yig ki gnas bab skor) to villagers of Shagchu (Ch: Xiaqu) Diru County as requested by the local Tibetans on one of his visits to the area.[i] Immediately, a group of Chinese police arrived at the spot and took him away. He was detained on a Wednesday – the Dalai Lama’s ‘soul day’. A source told TCHRD that on every Wednesday, which is observed in many parts of Tibet as Lhakar or the ‘soul day’ of the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Lhundrup used to give Buddhist teachings to the local Tibetans, help arbitrate disputes, and advocate vegetarianism. He is known also for zealously advocating the need to preserve Tibetan identity. All of these initiatives had earned him much respect and admiration from the local Tibetans.

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