Monk dies as self-immolation protests go on

Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Lobsang Gedun, the first person to die in a self-immolation protest in December

Individual Tibetans currently setting themselves alight almost every day

29-year-old Lobsang Gedun has died in the most recent self-immolation protest to be confirmed by Free Tibet.

A monk at the Penak monastery, he made his fatal protest at a busy intersection in Serathang township in Quinghai province on the evening of 3rd December.

Despite attempts by Chinese security forces to take him away, members of the local community were able to return his body to the monastery.

The situation in the town is described by local witnesses as “tense”.

Retaliation

Chinese authorities have a policy of taking retaliatory action against communities in which self-immolation protests have taken place, including making strenuous efforts to stop members of the community visiting to offer condolences. Lobsang Gedun belonged to a family of eleven.

More than 25 self-immolation protests took place in November, and Free Tibet have already confirmed two in the first three days of December.

Tibetans are also resisting China's forces of oppression through mass and individual demonstrations, and a number of influential people have recently fasted in solidarity with those who have chosen to burn themselves to death.

Protesters seek freedom for Tibet and an end to Chinese rule, which has been characterised by human rights abuses, including shooting protesters, disappearances, forcing monks and nuns to renounce some of their religious beliefs, and torture - which has been described by the United Nations as "widespread" and "routine".

Escalating protests

More than 90 Tibetans have set fire to themselves since March 2011. Read the full list.

Take action for Tibet

A former UK government minister says that "British foreign policy on Tibet is whatever China wants it to be". Email UK Foreign Secretary William Hague demanding that the UK change its position.

Intercontinental Hotels wants to build and operate a huge new resort in Lhasa. This tells the world that the situation is normal in Tibet – it isn’t. Email Intercontinental and ask them to leave Tibet:

Find other ways to take action for Tibet.