Family withhold details to prevent arrests
On 16 September, 42 year-old Kunchok set himself on fire near a police station in Amdo, eastern Tibet, a day before the recently-reported self-immolation protest of Lhamo Tashi. Tibetans rushed to douse the flames and took him to hospital.
Tibetans at risk
News of Kunchok’s protest was delayed because his family did not want to put him or those who assisted him at risk of punishment by the Chinese authorities. The name of the hospital has been withheld to prevent Kunchok from being detained. On regaining consciousness, Kunchok broke into tears, saying “I failed to accomplish my wish.” His medical condition is very serious, with most of his body burned and his family fear that he will not survive.
In the past, surviving self-immolators have been detained incommunicado and those who have died in custody or whose bodies were taken by the police were cremated by the Chinese authorities, preventing their relatives from conducting normal funeral services. List of confirmed self immolation protests in Tibet
As the world watches the events unfold in Hong Kong don’t forget Tibetans in Tibet, who are struggling for democracy and freedom, at even greater risk and far with little or no media coverage. Support Tibet by telling your country to stand up for Tibet: email your foreign minister now.