Berlin — Nyima Lhamo, niece of respected Buddhist monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who died in prison in July 2015, met German Human Rights Commissioner Dr Bärbel Kofler and the Tibet Group in German parliament and urged them to to arrange for an independent fact-finding delegation to visit Tibet and assess the situation in Tibet, especially Chinese prisons in Tibet.
"Nyima Lhamo met with German Human Rights Commissioner Dr Bärbel Kofler (SPD) and the Tibet Group in German parliament, led by MP Michael Brand (CDU/CSU) and joined by MPs of the Social Democrats and the Green Party, on February 14, 2017," the Tibet Initiative Deutschland, a Germany-based nongovernmental advocacy group said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
In a moving conversation with the MPs and later the Commissioner, Nyima Lhamo spoke of her own time in detention after she and her mother pressed her uncle's body to be returned to them for funeral ceremonies, and for an investigation into the suspicious circumstances of his death.
Lhamo, who managed to escape into exile last year and now lives in India, said that her uncle Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's 'only crimes' were: "His faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his leadership in the community and his work as a social and environmental advocate."
Lhamo urged her interlocutors to press the Chinese authorities to reveal the circumstances that led to the death of her uncle in prison and to arrange for an independent fact-finding delegation to visit Tibet and assess the situation in Tibet, especially Chinese prisons in Tibet.
She also stressed that it is the Tibetans aspiration to see the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet. She expressed her hope that the German institutions will support Tibetans in this aspiration.
The meetings in Berlin were jointly organized by Tibet Initiative Deutschland and International Campaign for Tibet.
Rinpoche was a highly respected Tibetan spiritual figure and one of the most prominent Tibetan political prisoners. He died on Sunday July 12, 2015 in a Chinese prison after undergoing 13 years of detention, torture and brutality. He had been denied medical parole despite serious health problems.
The Rinpoche was known for his activism for the wellbeing of Tibetans and work with schools and orphanages. "Since I am a Tibetan, I have always been sincere and devoted to the interests and well-being of Tibetan people. That is the real reason why the Chinese do not like me and framed me. That is why they are going to take my precious life even though I am innocent."
After Rinpoche's family failed to secure a review of the case, a series of protests took place in his home town of Ngakchukha County in December 2009. Shops closed in support as 40,000 Tibetans signed a petition to free Tenzin - others used red thumb prints.
China has claimed that his death was either natural, or he committed suicide. However many people in the Tibetan exile community believe he was murdered for political reasons, ie his loyalty towards HH the Dalai Lama and his campaigning for the protection of the environment and education for Tibetans in Tibet.
Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".