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Panchen Lama

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to establish the whereabouts and health of the Panchen Lama; and if he will press for his release. (235570)

We have raised the case of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima at the last seven meetings of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue, most recently in January 2008. We have asked for information on his health and whereabouts; supported the recommendation by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that China should allow an independent expert to visit him; and have pressed for him to enjoy freedom of movement and the freedom to choose his own career. The Government were informed during the dialogue field trip to Tibet in January 2008 that the Panchen Lama was safe and well in his home town. We will continue to raise this case with the Chinese government.