Target:Xí Jìnpíng, President of People’s Republic of China
Goal: Release information on whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who was detained for religious reasons
In 1995, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was chosen at the age of six as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama in Tibetan Buddhism. Just three days later Nyima and his family were detained by Chinese authority and have not been seen since. After 18 years China needs to disclose the whereabouts of Nyima and his family so the public can be assured that he is still alive and safe.
In China, Tibetans face many human rights abuses including lack of religious freedom. The religious leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, has been in exile since 1989. After the 10th Panchen Lama’s death Tibet was on the search for his reincarnation. During this search China wanted to show its authority by deciding that instead of going by tradition and receiving the decision from the Dalai Lama, the decision should be made by drawing a name from a golden urn. The head of the committee in search of the Panchen Lama delivered information on all of the “candidates” to the Dalai Lama, who in turn chose Nyima, saying that he was the true reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. Three days later Chinese officials took him and his family away and named a new Panchen Lama that would more likely agree with the communist party. It is obvious that the Chinese government took these actions to display their authority and further repress Tibetans religious rights.
Aged six when he was detained, Nyima is the world’s youngest political prisoner. Since then many failed attempts have been made to have China divulge information on his whereabouts. It has also been asked that an independent expert visit and confirm Nyima and has family’s well being while respecting their privacy. Nyima’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Instead of making public statements saying that Nyima is an ordinary, healthy, Tibetan boy that enjoys Chinese culture, the Chinese government should prove that he is alive and safe. By signing this petition you are urging Xí Jìnpíng to disclose the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family to prove that they are safe. Gedhun has spent 18 years as a political prisoner; it’s time he be allowed freedom.
Dear Xí Jìnpíng,
I am requesting that you release information on the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family so that it can be confirmed that he is alive and well. In 1995 there was not a single reason to detain the young six year old or his family and today there is not a single reason to hide him any longer.
As a concerned civilian I am insisting that after 18 years this information be released as soon as possible. In 1996 when the Committee on the Rights of the Child requested information on his whereabouts, the request was declined with the response that it would threaten his security. Gedhun is now 24 years old, an adult by definition, and should be able to have free access to the world as he pleases. His people should know where he is and that he is alive and safe. There have been statements that he lives ordinarily and is safe so I am calling on you to disclose information on his whereabouts for that to be confirmed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Central Tibetan Administration via Wikimedia Commons