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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s niece escapes Tibet

July 29, 2016, Students for a Free Tibet, Dharamsala, India

We just received news that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s niece, Nyima Lhamo, has fled Tibet and arrived in Dharamsala. While the news was a surprise to all of us, we are relieved to hear that she has safely made it out of Tibet.

In this Wednesday, July 27, 2016 photo, Nyima Lhamo, 26, holds a book with a portrait of her uncle Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a prominent Tibetan religious leader who died in prison last year, during an interview with the Associated Press in Dharmsala, India. She arrived in the northern hill town of Dharmsala via Nepal Sunday after two weeks on the road with the help of smugglers who she paid $9,700 for the trip, a journey she considered necessary to tell the story of her uncle to the world. The family was informed of the high priest's death in July last year and only allowed to see the body after Nyima tied a ceremonial Tibetan scarf to the bars of the prison gate and tried to hang herself. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)

In this Wednesday, July 27, 2016 photo, Nyima Lhamo, 26, holds a book with a portrait of her uncle Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)

In a press conference held yesterday in Dharamsala, Nyima Lhamo made the following statement:

“I came out of Tibet to speak out to the world about Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. I urge China to reveal the true circumstances that led to Rinpoche’s death and I hope that China’s allegations against Rinpoche be thoroughly investigated.”

WATCH full press conference here (English interpretation begins midway): http://tinyurl.com/vot-nyima

It was an unbelievable moment when I first met her in person. You may remember that around this time last year we were able to take action, with your support, and insure her safe release after being detained for protesting Rinpoche’s forced cremation. I never thought I’d be seeing her in Dharamsala a year later.

I cannot imagine the courage and sacrifice it must have taken her to leave her mother and six-year-old daughter and embark on a risky journey to tell the world about Rinpoche’s death and seek justice. Listening to her speak, there is no doubt that she is a fighter with a clear mission.She believes Rinpoche’s death in Chinese prison last year was not caused by a heart attack, as Chinese officials claimed, but by torture. To this day, Rinpoche’s family members and thousands of his followers in Tibet have not lost hope and continue to call for a thorough investigation on his death.

During this purposeful journey of hers, our collective effort is crucial. Since Nyima Lhamo’s arrival, I’ve had the opportunity to support her and will continue doing so, whether it be coordinating media, providing translations or standing by her and her decision to come to Dharamsala to seek justice for her uncle.

As we approach a new stage in our ‘Justice for Tenzin Delek’ campaign, we look forward to your continued support.

Tseten Delek

Even though Rinpoche is no longer with us, there is still work to be done in securing his legacy, promoting his vision, standing up for Tibetans who continue to suffer under China’s rule, and sending a strong message to China’s authorities that they will not get away with killing Tibetans – that they will be held accountable.

With hope and determination,

Dorjee Tseten
Asia Director

P.S. To learn more about SFT’s ‘Justice for Tenzin’ campaign, visit: http://justicefortenzin.org/
P.P.S. For more information on Nyima Lhamo’s escape to India, read: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3712017/Niece-leading-Tibetan-priest-flees-China.html

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