Geneva: “On the 25th year of enforced disappearance of Tibet’s 11th Panchen Lama Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, we the undersigned members of parliament of Czech Republic call for his immediate release along with his entire family and other Tibetan political prisoners” reads the first sentence of the joint statement issued by the Members of Chamber of Deputies of Czech Republic.
The statement is signed by 12 parliamentarians from the Czech Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, Chamber of Deputies: František Kopříva (co-chair of Czech Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet- Chamber of Deputies), Dana Balcarová, Jan Čižinský, Jakub Janda, Lenka Kozlová, Tomáš Martínek, Jakub Michálek, Vít Rakušan, Olga Richterová, Ondřej Veselý, Tomáš Vymazal and Marek Výborný. Read the full statement here.
Highlighting the fact that Tibetans were “forced to celebrate the 31st birthday” of 11th Panchen Lama “without even knowing whether he is alive or not,” the Czech Parliamentarians called the enforced disappearance of Panchen Lama and his family for 25 years a “continuous crime being perpetrated by China not only against Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family but also against all the Tibetans who are deprived of their religious leader.”
The Parliamentarians noted the egregious human rights violations suffered by Tibetans under China including religious persecution. “Tibet is consistently ranked as the second least free region in the world and the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief has ranked China as one of the worst violators of religious freedom in the world in 2018. Not just Tibetan Buddhists, even Uighur Muslims and Christians are also facing religious persecution by China,” read the statement.
The Czech parliamentarians strongly condemned the enforced disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima for the last twenty-five years and urged “the government of Czech Republic, the European Union and the United Nations to take serious note of this gross human rights violation.” The Parliamentarians also urged the above entities to “press China to release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family members and stop China from meddling in the religious practices of the Tibetans including their system of recognition of reincarnations.”
Thanking the Czech Members of Chamber of Deputies Representative Chhimey Rigzen from Tibet Bureau Geneva remarked “We thank the Czech Parliamentarians for their strong statement condemning China for kidnapping Tibet’s 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and for pressing China to stop interfering in the Tibetan Buddhist system of recognition of reincarnations. China must heed the global call for release of Panchen Lama. It should stop the horrifying suppression of Tibetans and resume dialogue on peaceful resolution of Tibet issue. This will bring peace and stability to Asia.”
Recently 15 Swiss Parliamentarians also called for the release of 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. The case of the enforced disappearance of Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is pending at the United Nations, both at UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance and the Committee on the Rights of the Child, for the last 25 years. 159 organizations from 19 countries submitted a joint petition to the UN calling for its intervention and to press China to release Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. China has repeatedly denied any access to the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and deprived him of any religious and scholastic education in Tibetan Buddhism.