500 Tibetans and Tibet supporters from all across Europe gathered in The Hague to protest the wrongful imprisonment and impending execution of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.

On Wednesday 8 December approximately 500 Tibetans and Tibet supporters from all across Europe gathered in The Hague, the Dutch seat of government, to urge European and Chinese leaders attending the annual EU-China Summit there to place Tibet at the heart of the EU-China partnership.

Organized by the Dutch TSG and The International Campaign for Tibet, supporters gathered in the city’s central square to build a giant pyramid decked in Tibetan prayer flags and postcards calling for the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. All across the busy square, passers-by, tourists and Christmas shoppers stopped to read from the thousands of protest postcards hanging like prayer flags from street lamps and trees, and many took time out of their busy day to discuss the fate of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, the status of Tibet, or their feelings on the EU-China Summit taking place a few hundred meters away.

A series of speeches were held before the crowd by:

  • Tsering Jampa, Executive Director of ICT Europe
  • Lobsang Tempa, a disciple of Tenzen Delek Rinpoche
  • Erkin Alptekin, a member of the Uyghur community
  • Vincent Brossel, from Reporters Without Borders
  • Harry van Bommel, a Dutch politician opposed to the lifting of the arms embargo on China

Following the speeches, the crowd formed a long line carrying banners and placards to walk through the heart of The Hague to the Dutch Foreign Ministry, where Tsetan Samdup of the Tibetan Community in Britain read a statement drafted by 19 TSG and Tibetan groups. From there the peace march progressed through the busy afternoon streets to the Chinese Embassy, which was kept in darkness as the singing and chanting marchers passed.