Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was last seen by his family during a prison visit in November 2013. This was one of only seven prison visits allowed durng his 13 years in prison.Each of the visits lasted approximately 30 minutes and were under strict supervision by prison officials. The Chinese authorities denied all other requests for visits by his relatives, including all those over the past 18 months.
According to ICT, when he was seen by his family in November 2013, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche had shown signs of very poor health. He was suffering from a serious heart condition and part of his body was shaking uncontrollably. The family also discovered he had lost consciousness on numerous occasions whilst in prison.
According to Radio Free Asia, two of Rinpoche’s sisters travelled to Chengdu two weeks ago to visit Rinpoche in prison. However, they were denied access, being repeatedly told to return the following day. On 12 July, the sisters were told they would be allowed to visit Rinpoche, only to be told a few hours later he had died. The sisters have since been attempting to find out further details of the death to no avail.