According to unconfirmed reports from Tibet, Rinzin Wangyal was sentenced on December 13, 1996, to 16 years imprisonment.
Rinzin (alias Rinwang), a 49-year-old worker at a cement factory in Lhasa, was arrested in August 1995 by the Public Security Bureau for political reasons.
Prior to his arrest in 1995, Rinzin was arrested once before between 1966-67 for allegedly organising an underground movement and was imprisoned in Drapchi Prison. While in prison, he was regularly tortured and interrogated by the prison authorities. Rinzin was released from Drapchi Prison in 1982-1983.
Rinzin Wangyal’s younger brother Tsedor, had been executed in 1970 for his alleged involvement in forming an underground movement. In 1994, Rinzin Wangyal’s brother-in-law, Karma Gelek was arrested for political reasons and still remains in prison.
Rinzin Wangyal’s wife Sonam, a daughter of the Yabshi Phunkhang family (family of the 13th Dalai Lama) died in October or November 1996 after being repeatedly refused permission to see her husband for the last time. During her prolonged illness, the Public Security Bureau failed to respond to several letters of appeal by Rinzin Wangyal and his wife’s relatives requesting for a last meeting between the couple.