Self-immolation triggers brutal crackdown in Tibet

14th January 2012

One woman shot, many injured, as Chinese security forces respond to 16th self-immolation

Another Tibetan self-immolated in Ngaba today and there are reports of ongoing clashes between Chinese security forces and local Tibetans – including monks inside Kirti monastery. It is understood that the clashes were triggered when the body of former Andu Monastery monk Lobsang Jamyang, who had self-immolated, was removed, or an attempt was made to remove this body.

Tibetans shot and arrested

Free Tibet can confirm that at least one woman has been shot. Further unconfirmed reports allege that many people have been shot. An eyewitness described the situation as terrifying, that “a strong gas” was used on the crowd and described how “many had fallen to the ground” and people were being beaten. Numerous people have been detained.

Concerns over Chinese response

Stephanie Brigden, Director of Free Tibet said, “We understand that this situation is ongoing and that people in Ngaba are terrified. “There have been large numbers of Chinese security forces, including the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, deployed there since the first self-immolation last year. Locals are frightened about how the situation will be resolved and there are rising concerns further injuries or fatalities.” This is the 16th case of self-immolation in Tibet since March of last year; 11 have taken place in Ngaba. Four Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the last week. More than 40 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in protest at the repressive Chinese occupation of their country. See the full list.