Chinese police have seized the cremated remains of a Tibetan monk whose death in prison earlier this month outraged Tibetans and human rights organizations, the monk’s relatives said.
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died July 12 in a prison in Chengdu, Sichuan province, 13 years into a life sentence for what his supporters said were false charges. Last Thursday night, Chinese police stopped four Tibetans en route to Tenzin Delek’s hometown with his ashes and confiscated the remains at gunpoint, Geshe Nyima, the monk’s cousin, told the New York Times.
Tenzin Delek’s death spurred demands for an investigation into the monk’s treatment in prison. While Chinese officials reported Tenzin Delek died from a heart attack after refusing treatment, Geshe Nyima said his family believes Tenzin Delek was killed. “There is nothing natural about an innocent man dying in prison after 13 years of torture,” Geshe Nyima told the Times.
The current whereabouts of Tenzin Delek’s ashes are unknown, though Geshe Nyima claims the police threatened to throw them into a nearby river.