LONDON (Reuters) - The British government said on Monday it was saddened by the death in jail of a Tibetan monk who was one of China’s most prominent political prisoners, saying it had urged Beijing to grant him medical parole.
The United States, the European Union and international rights groups had called for the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, 65, who was serving a 20-year sentence on charges of “crimes of terror and incitement of separatism”.
He died on Sunday in Chuandong prison in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
“We are saddened by reports that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche has died in detention in China,” a spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.
“We raised his case with Chinese authorities on a number of occasions, including during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in April this year.”
Hugo Swire, a minister at the Foreign Office responsible for Asia, had expressed concerns about Tenzin’s health and had urged the Chinese authorities to consider him for medical parole, she added.
Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge