Tibetan self-immolation in well-known Labrang Monastery

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Tibetan man in his 50s called Dhondup set fire to himself at approximately 9:30am (local time) today at Labrang Monastery, Eastern Tibet (1). Dhondup (2) is believed to have died at the scene. Dhondup was there to circumnabulate the monastery but then set fire to himself (3: photograph) near the prayer hall, behind Sikhang Temple which is inside the monastery.

An eyewitness said that after the incident police arrived and tried to take the body, but the monastery manager and other monks prevented them from doing so. The body remains in Labrang Monastery at the time of writing.

Labrang Monastery is well-known for its resistance to Chinese rule, but this is the first self-immolation to take place there. In 2008, monks at the monastery staged a protest while journalists were there on an escorted visit (4). There have been heavy restrictions in place in the area in recent months which are reported to have impacted on local people and monks.

Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said:

“Tibetan protests are escalating. Dhondup is the eighth Tibetan in the last month alone who has risked his life to protest Chinese rule; seven of the eight have died.

“China must recognise that Tibetan demands for freedom cannot be stamped out by brute force and must enter into meaningful dialogue with Tibetan representatives, supported by the international community.”

Nearly 60 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest since March 2011 (5).

Ends

Notes to Editors

1) Chinese: Xia He, Gansu Province
2) Dhondup was from Khagya village, Sangchu County, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
3) Dhondup’s body in flames in Labrang Monastery grounds: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/8111994259/in/photostream
4) Free Tibet press release detailing the protests of monasteries starved in Lhasa: http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/pr/protests-monasteries-starved-lhasa
6) Free Tibet press releases detailing self-immolation's and protests: http://freetibet.org/news-media/press-releases
6) For full list of Tibetan self-immolations: http://www.freetibet.org/news-media/na/full-list-self-immolations-tibet

Free Tibet is an international campaigning organisation that stands for the right of Tibetans to determine their own future. We campaign for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected.

For further information please contact Harriet Beaumont:

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