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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A Conversation with Geshe Nyima

Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 3:00pm
441 Cannon House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing by Tibetan Geshe Nyima, the cousin and family spokesperson of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, the Tibetan spiritual leader who died in Chinese custody on July 12, 2015.

At the time of his death, Tenzin Delek was serving a life sentence under very harsh conditions for allegedly ‘causing explosions’ and ‘inciting separatism,’ charges against which he steadfastly maintained his innocence. Before his passing, members of the U.S. Congress and many others in the international community had called upon China to release Tenzin Delek on medical parole because of reports that he was suffering from serious health problems. Unfortunately, those pleas fell on deaf ears.

After Tenzin Delek’s death, his family asked the Chinese government to return his body to them, so that they could carry out funeral rites in accordance with Tibetan tradition. This very human request, supported by Tibetan religious leaders and many others around the world, was denied. Instead, Chinese authorities cremated the body, then later seized and disposed of the ashes. The cause of Tenzin Delek’s death remains unknown.

Geshe Nyima was born in Lithang, Tibet. He spent six years as Tenzin Delek's student and helper before escaping to India in 1989 at the age of 23. Today he is a Buddhist teacher based in the Namgyal Tantric College, the Personal Monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in Dharamshala, India. When news of Tenzin Delek's death came out, Geshe Nyima was the main contact person for Tenzin Delek’s sister, Dolkar Lhamo, as well as other relatives. He will provide an overview of Tenzin Delek’s life and work, update us on events since his death, and recommend actions the Congress can take to try to prevent a similar fate for other Chinese prisoners of conscience.

For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or or Carson Middleton (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Opening remarks


  • Geshe Nyima, Buddhist teacher and Tenzin Delek family spokesperson
    Written statement


  • Tsepa Bayul, Communications Director, Students for a Free Tibet


  • Tenzin Dorjee, Tibet Action Institute


114th Congress