Nyima Lhamo fled Tibet in summer 2016 to tell the story of her late uncle, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a 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.
Lhamo and her mother were 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 he died of a heart attack, Lhamo believes that he was murdered.
Lhamo has appealed to the international community to pressure the Chinese government to carry out a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to Tenzin Delek’s conviction and eventual death. While in detention, Chinese authorities demanded she and her mother sign a document agreeing not to share information about her uncle’s death or make any accusations that he died of poisoning.
Despite continued threats to her family back in Tibet, Nyima has refused to stop speaking out.