China detains sister, niece of prison-deceased prominent Tibetan political prisoner

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's sister Dolkar Lhamo, in a recent photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s sister Dolkar Lhamo, in a recent photo. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(, Jul19, 2015) – China has detained on Jul 17 two close relatives of a prominent Tibetan political prisoner whose death under highly questionable circumstances in a secret high-security prison in the outskirts of Sichuan Province’s capital Chengdu on Jul 12 had provoked Tibetan protests and raised international outcries. Dolkar Lhamo, 55, sister of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, and her daughter Nyima Lhamo, about 25, were detained in Chengdu on Jul 17 morning by police sent from their native Lithang (Chinese: Litang) county, Sichuan Province, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Jul 17.

The report quoted an exile Tibetan with local contacts as saying the two were believed to have been held on suspicion of having given out information related to the death of Rinpoche.

Dolkar Lhamo had actively fought for Rinpoche since the day in 2002 when he was arrested and later sentenced to death, with a two-year reprieve, on a trumped up charge of being involved in an unsolved bomb explosion incident in Chengdu. “She was the first one to see her brother in jail and also the main person to appeal for his release,” the report quoted the exile source as saying.

Dolkar Lhamo had also submitted a five-point petition to the Chinese government, demanding the legal justification for the prison cremation of her brother’s body without acceding to the family’s request for its release for the purpose of carrying out proper religious rituals and an investigation into the circumstance of his death and its aftermath.


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