Nyima Lhamo, a 26-year old Tibetan, fled her homeland last summer to tell the story of her late uncle Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a popular and revered reincarnate lama who died in a Chinese prison in July 2015 while serving a life sentence on charges of “terrorism and inciting separatism.” In doing so she left behind her six-year-old daughter and ailing mother.
Nyima and her mother had been detained for 18 days by Chinese authorities on charges of leaking state secrets after questioning the circumstances of her uncle’s death. While Chinese state media have claimed that he died of a heart attack, she believes that Tenzin Delek, a moral and spiritual authority for thousands of Tibetans, was murdered.
Nyima is appealing to the international community to pressure the government of the People’s Republic of China to carry out a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to Tenzin Delek’s conviction and eventually his death. While in detention, Chinese authorities demanded that she and her mother sign a document agreeing not to share information about her uncle’s death or make accusations that he died of poisoning.