Self-immolation protests in Tibet

Since March 2011, more than 125 people are known to have set themselves on fire inside Tibet in protest against the repressive Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Self-immolation protests have become less frequent in 2013 and 2014 but these and other protests are taking place over a widening area of Tibet. Some Tibetans have also set themselves alight outside Tibet and China.

Although many monks and nuns have set themselves alight, most self-immolation protesters were not from religious institutions. They include teachers, students and herdsmen, as well as mothers and fathers.

The youngest was just 15 years old

Visit this Q&A to find out more about the self-immolations. More information about all protests in Tibet can be found here.

Details of each confirmed individual self-immolation in Tibet can be found below.

Tinley Namgyal, 15 April 2014, Dawu Couty, died.

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Tinley's body was taken to Gongthel Monastery and then to his home in Ganup Riyong village.

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Dolma, 29 March 2014, Bathang County, Kardze, unknown condition

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Dolma a nun set herself alight outside Bhachoede monastery.

Locals took her to hospital but security forces have prevented entry to the hospital and communications in the area have been cut.

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Jigme Tenzin, 16 March 2014, Tsekhog County, died

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Monk Jigme Tenzin set himself alight and died outside Shador monastery, which he was visiting.

After his protest, security forces arrested and severely beat a number of monks and also arrested members of his family.

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Lobsang Palden, Ngaba, eastern Tibet, 16 March 2014, died

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Lobsang Palden was the fourth monk to set himself alight on the anniversary of fatal shootings in Ngaba town in 2008.

In a social media post before his protest, he wrote "hatred towards others brings only failure."

Read more about Lobsang Palden

Lobsang Dorjee, Ngaba, eastern Tibet, 13 February 2014, died

Security forces arrive following Lobsang Dorjee's self immolation

The former monk set fire to himself during the New Year prayer festival at Kirti monastery in Ngaba County.

Police put him out and immediately drove him away from the scene. Lobsang Dorjee died in hospital in Barkham on Sunday 16th February.

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Phakmo Samdup, Malho, eastern Tibet, 5 February 2014, died

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The father of two set himself alight near a school in Dokarmo township.

He died at the scene and his body was taken by Chinese authorities.

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Tsultrim Gyatso, Sangchu County, 19 December 2013, died

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Tsultrim Gyatso left behind a heartfelt note which explained his actions.

He called for the return of the Dalai Lama, the release of the Panchen Lama and the wellfare of his fellow Tibetans in Tibet.

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Kunchok Tseten, Ngaba County, 3 December 2013, died

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The 30-year-old herdsman reportedly said earlier in the year "I cannot bear the atrocities of the Chinese government any longer."

He called for the return of the Dalai Lama and the reunificaton of Tibet.

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Tsering Gyal, Pema County, 11 November 2013, died

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The 20 year old monk set himself alight in the street. Security forces arrived and extinguished the flames but Tsering Gyal died on the way to hospital.

His last words after his protest were a call for unity among Tibetans.

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Shichung, Ngaba County, 28 September 2013, died


The 41-year-old farmer had expressed his feelings about the ongoing Chinese occupation to some friends in a tea shop a few days before his protest saying:

“These people (Chinese authorities) look down on us (Tibet) and it seems they won't leave us in peace.”

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Kunchok Sonam, Dzoge County, 20 July 2013, died

Kunchok Sonam

A monk in his local monastery, 18-year-old Kunchok Sonam set himself alight just after morning prayers and died at the scene.

Authorities tried to claim his body but local Tibetans prevented them. He is survived by his parents.

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Wangchen Dolma, Tawu, 11 June 2013, died


The nun died 3 days after her protest, on 14 June, after setting herself on fire at a Buddhist festival in Tawu County, Eastern Tibet.

Authorities cremated her body and prevented her family from undertaking the usual religious ceremonies for someone who has died.

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Tenzin Shirab, Yushu, eastern Tibet, 27 May 2013, died

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He died at the scene and Chinese security forces arrived soon after to confiscate his body.

Days before his self-immolation Tenzin Shirab is reported to have told his friends that Tibetans could no longer bear to live under China’s constant torture and repression.

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Lobsang Dawa and Kunchok Woser, Ngaba, eastern Tibet, 24 April 2013, both died

Kunchok Woser small square.jpg Lobsang Dawa small square.jpgThe two monks, aged 20 and 23 respectively, set themselves on fire in front of the prayer hall in the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery.

They both died at the scene.

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Jugtso, Ngaba, eastern Tibet, 16 April 2013, died

The 20-year-old mother of one set herself alight and died at the scene of her protest, in the same location as mother-of-four Kalkyi staged a similar protest last month.

Jugtso's body was taken into the local monastery where prayers were said but authorities insisted her body be cremated the same day, in contravention of Tibetan tradition.

Read more about Jugtso.

Kunchoek Tenzin, Luchu County, 26 March, died

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28-year-old monk Kunchoek Tenzin was the youngest of seven siblings who carried out his protest in the main street of Mogri village, near his monastery.

His body was taken to the monastery and cremated that night because local people and monks feared the Chinese authorities would forcibly take his body away.

Read more.

Lhamo Kyab, Sangchu County, 25 March, died

43-year-old Lhamo Kyab's remains were found by members of the local community after he apparently set a fire with wood and petrol and climbed on to it.

Upon learning of the self-immolation Chinese police and military surrounded the site and restricted the movement of local Tibetans.

Read more.

Kalkyi, Ngaba, 24 March 2013, died

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Mother-of-four Kalkyi self-immolated near the Dzamthang Jonang monastery and is survived by her husband, three sons and daughter.

More than 4,000 people attended her funeral, despite a large military presence and Chinese demands that she be cremating within hours of her death - the antithesis of normal Tibetan practice - that is intended to prevent large funeral gatherings.

Read more.

Lobsang Thokmey, Ngaba, 16 March 2013, died

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Lobsang Thokmey set himself alight on the fifth anniversary of the killing of 13 unarmed protesters in Ngaba in March 2008.

Described as a good role model for young monks before his death, he is survived by his parents, three brothers and one sister.

Read more.

Kunchoek Wangmo, Dzoge County, 13 March 2013, died

Kunchoek Wangmo was taken by police after setting herself alight and her husband was subsequently given ashes and told she had been cremated by the authorities.

They ordered him to say she had self-immolated because of family problems. When he refused, he was arrested.

Read more.

Sandhag, Ngaba, 25 February 2013, condition unknown

Sandhag set himself on fire in the main street of Ngaba. Chinese security forces put out the flames and took him away. Sandhag's current whereabouts and wellbeing are unknown.

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Tsesung Kyab, Luchu County, 25 February 2013, died

The 27-year-old set himself on fire at the same location where his cousin (Pema Dorjee) also self-immolated and died on 8 December last year.

His act coincided with prayer services to mark the last day of the Molam Festival and took place in front of many local Tibetans.

Chinese authorities tried to remove his body but were prevented from doing so.

Read more.

Phakmo Dhondup, Amdo, 24 February 2013

This protest is reported to have taken place within the vicinity of the Jakyung Monastery at around 8pm.

Very little else is known about the protest or the young man himself.

His current whereabouts and well-being are also unknown.

Rinchen and Sonam Dhargye, Kyangtsa Township, 19 February 2013, died

Rinchen square.jpgThe two teenagers set themselves on fire at 9:30pm (local time).

It is not known what (if any) slogans were shouted by them.

Both died at the scene.

Read more.

Namlha Tsering, Sangchu County, 17 February 2013, believed dead

49-year-old father of four set himself alight on a main road opposite the county cinema hall.

From the local area, he was taken by security forces and is believed to have died of his severe burns.

Read more.

Dhukpa Kyar, Tso City, Kanlho, 13 February 2013, died

The Tibetan man set himself on fire on the third day of Tibetan Losar.

He is survived by a wife and three children.

It is believed that he passed away at the scene of his protest.

Lobsang Namgyal, 37, Ngaba, Eastern Tibet, 3 February 2013

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Lobsang Namgyal set fire to himself and called for the long life of the Dalai Lama in front of Dzoge County Public Security Bureau office.

He died at the scene and his body was taken away by Chinese security forces who cremated him and then sent the ashes to his family.

Read more.

Kunchok Kyab, 26, Bhora township, Eastern Tibet, 22 January 2013, died

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Kunchok Kyab set himself alight at a prayer ground at Bhora monastery and died at the scene.

Authorities took his body and ordered the local community not to visit his home to conduct funeral services. Members of the community then marched on local government offices, demanding its return.

Read more.

Jigji Kyab, 17, Shitsang township, 19 January 2013, died

Jigji Kyab left a note for his family, calling on "Sons of the land of snow" to "rise up", and then consumed a poisonous substance.

He collapsed and died in the street, carrying cans of gasoline and matches, before he was able to set himself alight.

Dupchoek, 28, Drachen Township, Eastern Tibet, 18 January 2013, died

Dupchoek self-immolated at 3.15pm. He leaves a wife and two daughters, aged 3 and 4.

His body was taken by security forces.

Read more.

Tsering Tashi, 22, Achok township, Eastern Tibet, 12 January 2013, died


The first Tibetan to set himself on fire in 2013 died at the scene of his protest.

Tsering Tashi's body was carried back to his home village by local people.

Read more.

Wanchen Kyi, 16, Dokar Mo township, Eastern Tibet, 9 December 2012, died

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Schoolgirl Wanchen Kyi shouted "Long live His Holiness the Dalai lama, long live Tibetan people" as she set herself alight.

On five days' holiday from a local middle school at the time of her protest, she is survived by her parents and two sisters.

Three thousand local people attended her cremation service.

Kunchoek Phelgay, 23, Ngaba, Eastern Tibet, 8 December 2012, died

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Kunchoek Phelgay, a monk, set fire to himself in front of Tragtsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery's assembly hall in Shagthom Township, Ngaba, Eastern Tibet.

Kunchoek Phelgay died at the scene and monks at the monastery kept his body there while they prayed for him.

Pema Dorjee, 23, Luchu County, 8 December 2012, died

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Pema Dorjee set fire to himself at 4:35pm local time in front of Shetsang Monastery in Luchu County, Eastern Tibet.

Pema Dorjee died at the scene.

No further information was available at the time of the situation at the location of the protest.

Lobsang Gedun, Serathang, Pema County, 3 December 2012, died.

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He was a monk at the local Penang monastery.

Security forces tried to take him away but members of the local community were able to return his body to the monastery.

Around 1,000 people from the community paid their respects at the monastery and pledged to fulfil his last request for solidarity and unity.

Read more.

Sangdak Kyab, Sangchu County, 2 December 2012

The 17-year-old set himself on fire near the Bhora Monastery.

He is believed to have survived the protest.

Security personnel arrived, put out the flames and took him away. His current condition and whereabouts are unknown.

Read more.

Kunchoek Kyab, Shagdom, 30 November 2012, died.

Kunchoek KyabKunchoek Kyab set himself on fire in front of a patrol station around 10km away from Shagdom in the early hours of 30 November 2012.

He was a husband and a father of two.

Soon after his self-immolation protest, security forces arrived and extinguished the flames before driving him to a local hospital.

Some Tibetan men who followed the vehicle which took him away haven't been seen since the incident. Locals believe they have been detained.

Tsering Namgyal, Luchu County, Kanlho, Eastern Tibet, 29 November 2012, died.

A large number of military vehicles were deployed following Tsering Namgyal's self-immolation protest.

His protest took place near local government buildings.

He died at the scene.

Read more.

Sangay Tashi, Sangkog Township, Sangchu County, 27 November 2012, died.

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Teenager Sangay Tashi has died after setting himself on fire in protest over China’s policies in Tibet.

He called for the return of the Dalai Lama as he set himself alight.

The 18-year-old protester is the eighth Tibetan in a week to self-immolate.

Read more.

Wande Khar, early 20s, Tso city, 28 November 2012

Wande Khar called for freedom in Tibet, the release of political prisoners and for language and religious rights.

He called for freedom in Tibet, for the release of political prisoners, for language and religious rights before setting himself alight.

Read more.

Kalsang Kyab, Kangsta Township, Dzoge County, 27 November 2012, died.

24-year old Kalsang Kyab died at 7:00pm local time in Kangsta Township on Tuesday 27 November after setting fire to himself in protest against the Chinese government.

He set fire to himself in front of a local government building.

His body was returned to his family home in Dowa Mege Village amid unrest in Kangsta Township.

Read more.

Gonpo Tsering, Alak Township, Luchu County, 26 November 2012, died.

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Gonpo Tsering, 24, set fire to himself outside the prayer hall of Alak Deu-go Monastery on Monday 26 November. He called for human rights in Tibet, as well as freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.

He was married with three young children, and he died at the scene.

Read more.

Kunchok Tsering, Amchog Township, Sangchu County, 26 November 2012, died.

18-year old Kunchok Tsering set himself on fire at approximately 4:00pm local time on Monday 26 November.

He died at the scene. The former nomad is survived by his wife, and his body has been taken to his home where local people and monks have gathered.

Read more.

Wangyal, Serthar County, Kandze Prefecture, 26 November 2012

Wangyal, a student at Serthar County National Middle School, set himself on fire at approximately 11:25am on Monday 26 November.

Eyewitnesses reported he was shouting slogans for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama before security forces arrived.

Security forces took him to hospital, although his condition and location remain unknown.

Read more.

Sangye Dolma, Dorkarmo Township, Tsekhok County, 25 November 2012, died.

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Sangye Dolma, 17, set herself on fire late on Sunday 25 November.

She left a photo and a note behind which show the motivations for her actions.

Dolma, a nun, died at the scene.

Read more.

Tamding Dorjee, Dokarmo Town,Tsekhog County, 23 November 2012, died.

Tamding Dorjee, 29, set himself on fire in front of the local Chinese administrative office in Dokarmo Town on Friday 23 November.

A nomad, Tamding Dorjee had married but since divorced.

He died at the scene at around 6:30pm local time.

Read more.

Tamdin Kyab, Luchu County, 22 November 2012, died.

Tamdin Kyab, 23, set fire to himself by the Luchu River in Phalgar Village, Luchu County, late on Thursday 22 November.

There were no witnesses to his immolation, but it is believed by locals he committed the act in protest at the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Read more.

Lubum Gyal, Rebkong County, Malho, 22 November, died.

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18-year old Lubum Gyal set fire to himself at approximately 4:20pm on Thursday 22 November.

He is survived by his father, Tsego.

He died at the scene.

Dhondup, Sangchu County, 20 November 2012, died.

small_Tsering Dhondup_2_0.jpgTsering Dhondup, set fire to himself in protest in Achok Township, Sangchu County, Eastern Tibet at 9am.

He was married and father to three.

He died at the scene.

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Wangchen Norbu, Kangsta, Yadzi, 19 November 2012, died

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The 25-year-old set himself on fire near the Kangtsa Gaden Choephel Ling Monastery in Yadzi county.

He reportedly called out for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile, release of the Panchen Lama and freedom for Tibet.

It is believed he died at the site of his protest.

Sangdak, Malho Prefecture, 17 November 2012, died.

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News of Sangdak's protest took almost a day to emerge because China is making great efforts to suppress information about the situation in Tibet. Not only are foreigners and the media banned, but also phone signals and the internet are regularly blocked and Tibetans have been sentenced to life imprisonment for sharing information.

Read more.

Chakmokyi, Rebkong, 17 November 2012, died.

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Thousands gathered after Chakmokyi's self-immolation, to pray and peacefully protest.

There is a very heavy security presence, with large numbers of armed police in trucks at road junctions, plain clothes police mingling amongst people, and government officials in parked cars every twenty steps throughout the town.

Read more.

18-year-old Tibetan in Rebkong, 15 November 2012, unconfirmed.

On the day China's new unelected leaders were announced, communications in Rebkong were very restricted so information about this incident has not yet been confirmed.

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Tingzin Dolma, 23, Rebkong County, 15 November 2012, died.

Tingzin Dolma set fire to herself outside Goge Village temple in Rebkong County, Eastern Tibet at around midday.

Hundreds of local Tibetans attended her cremation the same evening.

Read more.

Nyingchak Boom, Rebkong County, 12 November 2012, died.

Nyingchak Boom, believed to be in his late teens, set fire to himself at approximately 6:30 in the evening.

Unconfirmed reports state that Nyingchak Boom died.

Phone lines and electricity were cut in the area after his protest.

Read more.

Nyingkar Tashi, Rebkong County, 12 November 2012, died.

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Nyingkar Tashi set fire to himself at a prayer ceremony for Tamdin Tso, who self-immolated five days earlier.

He was the seventh to set fire to himself in six days, and the third in Rebkong County. He was in his mid-20s.

He died at the scene.

Gonpo Tsering, Sangchu County, 10 November 2012, died.

The 19-year-old travelled to Shakdup Thubtenling Monastery for his protest.

He called for freedom for Tibet, freedom of language and the return of the Dalai Lama as he set himself on fire.

Monks from the monastery put out the flames on his body but it was too late.

Gonpo Tsering died at the scene.

Jinpa, Rebkong, 8 November 2012, died.

Thousands took to the streets of Rebkong, calling for freedom, following 18-year-old Jinpa's self-immolation.

Jinpa died at the scene.

Security forces were deployed in large numbers in the area.

Read more.

Tsegye, Driru County, Nakchu, 7 November, died.

27-year-old Tsegye was the fifth person to carry out a self-immolation protest on 7 November.

It occurred between 7-8pm.

He was taken to a prison hospital after his protest.

He survived for 11 days but died from his injuries on 18 November.

Dorjee Kyab, Dorjee and Samdup, Ngaba. Dorjee died. 7 November 2012

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The three Tibetan monks in their early teens, aged 15 to 16, set fire to themselves calling for freedom in Ngaba.

This was the first documented case of a triple self-immolation and also featured the youngest self-immolation protester in Tibet.

Read more.

Tamdin Tso, 7 November 2012, died.

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23-year-old mother, Tamdin Tso, set fire to herself in Rebkong County, Eastern Tibet.

She was mother to a 5-year-old boy.

She died at the scene.

Read more.

Dorje Lungdup, Rongwo Town, 4 November 2012, died.

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The father-of-two set himself on fire near Sakyil Hotel in Rongwo Town.

His protest was marked by thousands of Tibetans taking to the streets in respect.

He was a traditional Tibetan artist. He died at the scene.

Read more.

Thubwang Kyab, Sangchu County, 26 October 2012, died.

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Thubwang Kyab was the second person to set fire to himself in protest in Sangchu County on 26 October.

He was the fifth person in the space of one week in the county to die in such a protest.

He died at the scene.

Read more.

Lhamo Tseten, Achok Township, 26 October 2012, died.

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The 24-year-old had been eating at a restaurant with friends when he walked outside and set himself on fire.

Like many others before him, he chose to protest near buildings which were a symbol of Chinese authority; namely a military camp and the local court buildings.

He died at the scene.

Read more.

Tsepo (died) and Tenzin, north of Lhasa, 25 October 2012

Tenzin's wellbeing and whereabouts remain unknown after the cousins set themselves on fire in their village. The young men called for independence for Tibet during their protest.

Read more.

Dorjee Rinchen, Labrang, 23 October 2012, died.

Dorjee Rinchin portrait square_0.jpegThe 58-year-old Tibetan set himself on fire in front of Public Security Bureau building. He died at the scene.

He is the second Tibetan in consecutive days to self-immolate in Labrang. Tensions ran high as local tried to remove his body to his home village.

Read more.

Dhondup, Labrang, 22 October 2012, died.

Dhondup crop square.jpgDhondup set himself on fire in grounds of the well-known Labrang Monastery. He died at the scene.

Security forces arrived and attempted to remove the body but were prevented from doing so by the monks at the monastery.

Read more.

Lhamo Kyab, Bhora, 20 October 2012, died

Lhamokyeb square crop.jpegAccording to an eyewitness, Lhamo Kyab called out slogans for the return of the Dalai Lama while running towards Bhora Monastery.

Security forces tried to extinguish the flames but were unsuccessful. Lhamo Kyab died at the scene.

Read more.

Tamdrin Dorjee, Tso City, 13 October 2012, died

The 52-year-old grandfather of a reincarnated lama set himself on fire and died near Tso Monastery.

He died at the scene.

Read more.

Sangye Gyatso, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, 6 October 2012, died

Sangye Gyatso

The father of two set himself on fire near the Dokar Monastery, which is 10km from Tso City. He died at the scene.

Sangye Gyatso called for the return of the Dalai Lama and for cultural and religious freedom in Tibet.

Read more.

Gudrub, Nagchu County, 4 October 2012, unconfirmed

Gudrub is believed to have set fire to himself in Nagchu town.

He is reported to have died at the scene.

This was one of a handful of self-immolation protests to have taken place inside what China refers to as the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Yungdrung, Zatoe Town, Yushu County, 29 September 2012

The 27-year-old Tibetan set himself on fire in the town centre.

Free Tibet is still unable to confirm his current whereabouts or what condition he may be in.

This was the first self-immolation protest in Tibet in more than a month.

Passang Lhamo, 62, Beijing, 13 September 2012, survived

In January 2013, reports emerged that Passang Lhamo had set herself alight in Beijing in September of 2012.

Following the Tibetan earthquake of 2010, authorities had taken her ancestral land and after receiving no help from local authorities, she travelled to Beijing to make her protest against land-grabbing.

Lobsang Kalsang and Damchoek, Ngaba Town, 27 August 2012, both died

The two men, one monk and one former monk, set themselves on fire outside Kirti Monastery. They later died.

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Tashi and Lungtok, Ngaba Town, 13 August 2012, both died

The two men set themselves on fire on what is now known as Martyr's Street in Ngaba Town. Lungtok died shortly afterwards. Tashi was beaten and removed by security forces. He later died.

Read more.

Jopa, Meruma, 10 August 2012, died

The 24-year-old nomad was forcibly removed by security forces.

Information about his fate did not emerge at first but it has now been confirmed that he died of his injuries.

Read more.

Dolkar Kyi, Tso City, Kanlho, 7 August 2012, died

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Set herself on fire in front of Tso Monastery in Kanlho, Eastern Tibet. She died at the scene.

After her protest, 15 military trucks were deployed to Tso Monastery, scene of the self-immolation.

Read more.

Lobsang Tsultrim, Ngaba Town, 6 August 2012, died

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The 21-year-old monk set fire to himself on the main road in Ngaba. He was reported to be still alive, his upper body badly injured, when security personnel drove him away in a vehicle. He died soon after.

Lobsang Lobzin, Barkham County, 17 July 2012, died

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The 18-year-old monk set himself on fire inside Tsodun Kirti Monastery in Barkham County, eastern Tibet.

He died at the scene. Read more.

Tsewang Dorjee, Damshung County, 7 July 2012

Tsewang Dorjee set himself on fire in a town near the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Chinese security personnel quickly extinguished the flames and removed the man, and his current well-being and whereabouts remain unknown. Detentions and forced relocations followed the removal of the man from the town's marketplace.

Read more.

Dekyi Choezom, Jyekundo, 27 June 2012

Dekyi Choezom, who is approximately 40 years old, set fire to herself alongside a land rights protest. 70 Tibetan families were protesting the Chinese reconstruction plan, after the 2010 earthquake.

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Nyawang Norpal and Tenzin Kaldrup, Zathod Township, 20 June 2012, both died

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These young men set fire to themselves in Zathod Township, Eastern Tibet. Tenzin Kaldrup died at the scene and Nyawang Norpal died a few weeks later. They left letters saying they were self-immolating for the sake of all Tibetans.

Read more.

Tamdrin Thar, Markethang, 15 June 2012, died

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The Tibetan nomad, who was in his early 60s, set fire to himself outside the Chinese People’s Armed Police compound in Markethang, Eastern Tibet. He died at the scene.

Read more.

Rechok, Barma Township, 30 May 2012, died


Rechok set herself on fire in front of the Jonang Dzamthang monastery in Barma Township.She died at the scene.

Read more.

Dorjee Tseten (died) and Dargye, Lhasa, 27 May 2012

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Two Tibetans set themselves on fire in front of the iconic Jokhang Temple in the centre of the old city. Chinese forces moved in quickly to remove any signs of disturbance and Lhasa was placed under heavy military restrictions.

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Sonam and Choephak Kyap, Barma Township, 19 April 2012, both died

Sonam.jpgChoephak Kyab

Sonam and Choephak Kyap, who are cousins, self-immolated together in front of Jonang Dzamthang monastery in Barma Township, Dzamthang County, Ngaba, Eastern Tibet. Security forces were quickly mobilised to the township.

Read more.

Tenpa Dargye and Choemi Palten (died), Barkham Town, Ngaba, 30 March 2012.

TenpaChoemi Palten

Two young monks, Tenpa Dargye, aged 22 and Choemi Palten, aged 21 set fire to themselves on March 30 in Barkham Town, Ngaba.

Choemi later died.

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Sherab, Ngaba Town, 28 March 2012, died

A 20-year-old Tibetan monk called Sherab set fire to himself in Ngaba, Eastern Tibet in protest at China's policies in Tibet.

Sherab died at the scene.

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Sonam Dargye, Rongwo Town, 17 March 2012, died

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The father-of-three in his 40s, walked out of a nearby hotel, shouted: “Let His Holiness return to Tibet” and then set himself on fire. Thousands gathered in the local Dolma Square.

Read more.

Lobsang Tsultrim, Ngaba Town, 18 March 2012, died

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The 20-year-old monk set fire to himself in front of Kirti Monastery on 16 March. While in flames, Lobsang raised his fist in the air in the Tibetan gesture of freedom. He died on 18 March.

Read more.

Jamyang Palden, Rongwo Town, 14 March 2012, died

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The monk, who is in his 30s, set himself on fire near Rongwo monastery. Monks took his body back to the monastery from a local hospital, fearing his arrest by the Chinese authorities.

Read more.

Gepey, Ngaba Town, 10 March, died

The 18-year-old monk from Kirti Monastery set himself on fire behind the military camp in Ngaba Town. The military took the body away. His family was forced to hold his funeral immediately.

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Dorjee, Chara Township, 5 March, died

Dorjee, aged 18, set fire to himself near Chara Township, Ngaba County. An eyewitness reported seeing Dorjee set himself on fire near a bridge outside the township and then walk in flames to a government office building where he collapsed. He died at the scene.

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Rinchen, Ngaba Town, 4 March, died


The mother of four, self-immolated in Ngaba Town, in front of the police station which has been established by the main gate into Kirti Monastery. She died at the scene. While in flames Rinchen called out: “Tibet needs Freedom and Gyalwa Rinpochen (the Dalai Lama) needs to return to Tibet.”

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Tsering Kyi, Nyima Town, 3 March 2012, died

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The 20-year-old, set fire to herself and died at a vegetable market in Machu county in eastern Tibet. Just days before she commented: “In Ngaba and other areas of Tibet, Tibetans are burning themselves. We should do something for Tibet – life is meaningless if we don’t do something for Tibet.”

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Nangdrol, Barma Township, 19 February 2012, died


The 18-year-old set himself on fire near the Jonang Dzamthang Monastery. The monks removed his body to the monastery. Barma Township had been the site of an incident where Chinese forces shot dead another young man, just weeks before.

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Tamchoe Sangpo, Sengge Township, 17 February 2012, died

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The monk was a teacher at the Bongthak Monastery and a member of the Democratic Management Committee of the monastery. He died after self-immolating.

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Lobsang Gyatso, Ngaba, 13 February 2012

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The 19-year-old monk from Kirti Monastery set fire to himself in Ngaba Town. He reportedly survived but he was forcibly removed by Chinese forces and his current whereabouts and well-being is unknown. Two young men and a monk were believed to have been beaten at the scene.

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Tenzin Choedon, Ngaba, 11 February 2012, died


The 18-year-old nun set fire to herself outside her nunnery, Dechen Chokorling Nunnery, in Ngaba. She later died.Tenzin was calling out slogans of protest against the Chinese government when she self-immolated.

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Sonam Rapyang, La County, 9 February 2012, survived

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30-year-old monk Sonam Rapyang self-immolated in protest at the Chinese rule of Tibet and was taken into detention. No news of his condition emerged until February 2013, when reports confirmed that he had survived the self-immolation but had both of his legs amputated. Now home, he and his family face round-the-clock surveillance and are only allowed to make phone calls with permission from local authorities.

Rigzin Dorjee, Ngaba, 8 February 2012, died


A 19-year old former Kirti monk set themselves on fire according to local secondary sources. He died of his injuries on 21 February. An eyewitness has reported that two monks were detained at the site.

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Lobsang Jamyang, Ngaba, 14 January 2012, died

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A former monk of Adu Gon Gama monastery. He died after setting fire to himself in Ngaba town.

It is believed that he died at the scene but Chinese authorities forcibly removed him. A crowd of local people gathered to protest and to call for the return of his body.

Chinese authorities responded with brutal force.

Sonam Wangyal, Darlag, 8 January 2012, died


This high-ranking lama from the Darlag Monastery is believed to have set himself on fire in the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on 8 January.

Radio Free Asia says that he pasted posters around the town and shouted slogans calling for freedom in Tibet and in support of the Dalai Lama. It is claimed that he also urged Tibetans to be united and not to lose hope.

Xinhua, the Chinese state media agency, confirmed that he died.

The Tibetan Government-in-Exile has said that local people pressured the Chinese authorities to hand the man’s body over to them for a funeral. Xinhua corroborates this.

Pawo Ten-nyi and Pawo Tsultrim, Ngaba, 6 January 2012, both died

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The two men, both of whom were 20-years-old, set themselves on fire in Ngaba town on 6 January. An eye-witness account reports that Pawo Tsultrim set himself on fire near Kirti Monastery in Ngaba Town at around 2.50pm (local time). He is believed to have died the following night.

Pawo Ten-nyi set himself on fire nearby at the same time and is reported to have died at the scene.

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Tenzin Phuntsog, Chamdo, 1 December 2011, died

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Tenzin Phuntsog, a former monk in his forties, set fire to himself in Karma Township in Chamdo, on 1 December 2011, according to sources, including Radio Free Asia. It was reported on 8 December that he died from his injuries.

The monastery Tenzin was a member of is reported to have been under severe restrictions following reports of a bomb in a municipal building in Karma Township on 27 October 2011.

Palden Choetso, Dawu, 3 November 2011, died

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Palden Choetso, 35, died after setting herself on fire on the Chume Bridge in the centre of Tawu. She set fire to herself at the same place as the monk Tsewang Norbu (see below). Palden Choetso is the second woman to set fire to herself. She had been a nun for 15 years and was heard to call out "long live the Dalai Lama" and "let the Dalai Lama" return to Tibet.

Watch footage of the vigil for Palden Choetso

Dawa Tsering, Kandze Town, 25 October 2011

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Dawa Tsering self-immolated in Kandze Town near his monastery, Kandze Monastery, on 25 October. Dawa is said to have suffered serious burns but his well-being and whereabouts are unknown. He is believed to be in his 30s. Kandze Town is about 150km from Ngaba Town.

Tenzin Wangmo, Ngaba, 17 October 2011, died

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Tenzin Wangmo, a 20-year-old nun, set herself on fire around 1pm outside Dechen Chokorling nunnery (also known as Mame nunnery), three kilometres from Ngaba Town. She died at the scene.

Tenzin called for religious freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. She walked about for up to eight minutes before she collapsed and died. She reportedly said to fellow nuns that morning that she "will have to do something of great importance".

Norbu Dathul, Ngaba, 15 October 2011, died

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Norbu Dathul, 19, a former monk from Kirti monastery, set himself alight at the central market in Ngaba Town at around 11.50am local time on 15 October. It is reported that he died on 5 January 2012.

Norbu was seen running in flames and shouting for freedom for Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama. Police put out the flames and he was driven away in a police car. There are reports that the police beat him while they were trying to put out the flames.

Norbu became a monk at Kirti Monastery at an early age but he disrobed in June 2010.

Choepel and Khayang, Ngaba, 7 October 2011, both died


Choepel, 19, and Khayang, 18, set themselves on fire on 7 October in Ngaba Town. Khayang died the next day. Choepel is reported to have died on 11 October.

Choepel was expelled from Kirti Monastery following Phuntsog's self-immolation (see below). Khayang also used to be a monk. His uncle Tashi was killed by security forces in Ngaba on 16 March 2008 at the age of 27. They are both from Thawa Kongma village in Ngaba county.

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Kalsang Wangchuk, Ngaba, 3 October 2011

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Kalsang Wangchuk, a young monk believed to be 17 or 18 years old, from Kirti Monastery, Ngaba County, Eastern Tibet, set himself on fire on 3 October near the vegetable market in Ngaba Town.

He was reportedly holding a photograph of the Dalai Lama and shouted: "There are no religious rights and freedom in Tibet". The police put out the fire and took him away. His upper body is said to be very damaged. On that day Ngaba town was said to be under police and military control, nobody could enter or exit the town.

His well-being and whereabouts are unknown.

Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok, Ngaba, 26 September 2011

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Two young monks, Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok, aged between 18 and 19 years old, also from Kirti monastery, set fire to themselves on 26 September.

Lobsang Kalsang is the brother of Phuntsog (see below). The monks waved the banned Tibetan flag and called for religious freedom and “Long live the Dalai Lama” before they self-immolated. Their well-being and whereabouts are unknown.

Tsewang Norbu, Tawu, 15 August 2011, died

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A 29-year-old monk, Tsewang Norbu, also known as Norko, set himself on fire in the centre of Tawu. He is from Nyitso Monastery where the monastic community had been intimidated by local authorities.

Tsewang Norbu drank petrol, sprayed himself with petrol and then set himself on fire. He was heard calling out: “We Tibetan people want freedom”, “Long live the Dalai Lama” and “Let the Dalai Lama Return to Tibet”. He died at the scene.

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Phuntsog, Ngaba, 16 March 2011, died


Phuntsog, 21, from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, set himself on fire on the third anniversary of demonstrations in Ngaba Town in 2008 when armed police shot dead at least 13 protestors. Phuntsog was heard calling for the return of the Dalai Lama. He died in hospital.

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Free Tibet has access to video footage showing that the situation in Ngaba is far from calm. Click here to watch.



Tabe, a monk from Kirti monastery, set himself on fire in February 2009. He is believed still to be in detention and his whereabouts remain unknown. Tabe’s parents are reportedly able to visit him at the invitation of authorities for very limited periods. Tabe has recently been used for propaganda purposes by the Chinese authorities. In July this year he was interviewed on a local TV channel where he said he regretted what he did. It is not possible to confirm if Tabe gave the interview under duress.