Media advisory: Friday 12 July - 2019 Tenzin Delek Rinpoche Medal of Courage to be awarded in London
Druklo, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Jigme Gyatso, Kunchok Tsephel and Tashi Rabten have been nominated for the prestigious annual award
The fourth Tenzin Delek Rinpoche Medal of Courage will be awarded in an evening ceremony this Friday 12 July in London.
The award was created by International Tibet Network (1) in 2016 to recognise those who have shown a deep commitment to enhancing the freedom and rights of the Tibetan people at great personal risk.
It is awarded after a vote by members of International Tibet Network’s Steering Committee, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s cousin, Geshe Nyima, and other human rights experts. The date, 12 July, commemorates the day that senior monk, community activist and human rights defender Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in prison in 2015.
Five Tibetans will be recognised at the ceremony this year, with one of them due to be awarded the 2019 Medal of Courage. They are:
Druklo (Pen name: Shokjang): A writer and blogger known for his thought-provoking articles. He was arrested in 2016, charged with “inciting separatism” and sentenced to three years in prison.
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima: The 11th Panchen Lama. He was abducted as a six-year-old in 1996 and has not been seen since. In April Tibetans around the word marked his 30th birthday.
Jigme Gyatso: Currently serving a 15-year prison sentence following his arrest in 1996. In prison he has continued to protest. He has been beaten and tortured and his prison sentence extended.
Kunchok Tsephel: The founder of a popular Tibetan website that promotes Tibetan culture and literature. He is serving a 15-year prison sentence for “divulging state secrets”.
Tashi Rabten: A writer and the co-editor of Shar Dungri, a Tibetan-language literary magazine that has been banned. He was detained in 2010 and sentenced to four years in prison.
The first Medal of Courage was awarded in 2016 to medical doctor and political prisoner Yeshi Choedron. In 2017 it was awarded to language advocate and political prisoner Tashi Wangchuk. Last year the award was shared by the filmmakers, former political prisoners and human rights advocates Dhondup Wangchen and Golog Jigme.
This year’s ceremony will take place in the office of Free Tibet (2) in central London. The event will begin at 6:30pm local time. The result is expected to be announced at around 7pm. The event will be attended by members of the Tibetan community, staff and volunteers from several Tibet organisations and longstanding supporters of Tibet.
This year attendees will also take time to recognise the life of Palden Gyatso, the Tibetan human rights advocate who passed away on 30 November 2018 (3).
Mandie McKeown, International Tibet Network
+44 (0)7748 158 618
John Jones, Free Tibet
+44 (0)207 324 4605
Notes for editors:
1. International Tibet Network is a global coalition of 170 Tibet-related non-governmental organisations campaigning for an end to human rights violations in Tibet and restoring rights to the Tibetan people. Its purpose is to maximise the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement.www.tibetnetwork.org
2. For more details on Free Tibet’s work, see: www.freetibet.org