While speaking at the event, Gere presented film footage taken by Romanian cameraman Sergiu Matei of the death of Tibetan nun Kelsang Namtso, who was shot by a Chinese border patrol while trying to cross the Nangpa Pass into Nepal with a group of over 70 other asylum seekers. The footage is the first irrefutable documentary evidence of China’s treatment of Tibetans escaping into exile.
The shooting incident, which has received international attention, has led to the condemnation of China’s actions by the US, EU, and other governments.
Highlighting the opportunity presented to Germany with the current G-8 and European Union presidencies, Gere called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to raise Tibet in discussions with Beijing.
“These actions cannot be tolerated…Tibet should be ever-present in any discussion with China.”
While in Berlin, Gere also met with members of the Bundestag (German Parliament) to discuss the situation in Tibet and the need for a negotiated solution between the Chinese leadership and His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives.
The Cinema for Peace gala and press conference also marked the release of the ICT report ‘Dangerous Crossing’. The report includes previously unreported eyewitness testimony of the Nangpa Pass shootings in September 2006 and eyewitness accounts of Tibetans being fired upon by border patrols while attempting to escape over the pass in 2005. ICT’s annual refugee report documents the dangers Tibetans face while fleeing Tibet and transiting Nepal to exile in India.