VIDEO: Monk carries out self-immolation protest in Tibet

Police extinguish the flames at the scene of the protest
Police extinguish the flames at the scene of the protest

16th April 2017

The unnamed monk was taken away by police, his current condition and whereabouts are unknown

A monk has carried out of self-immolation protest in Kardze County, eastern Tibet. The monk, whose name is unknown at present, set himself on fire on a busy street on Saturday 15 April.

Shortly after setting himself on fire, Chinese police and security forces arrived at the scene, extinguished the flames and took him away. The internet in the surrounding area has been heavily restricted and surveillance stepped up.

A video, taken secretly and acquired by Free Tibet, shows police extinguishing the fire on the body.

The current whereabouts of the monk, and whether or not he survived his protest, are not known at present. A local who witnessed the protest said:

"I was near by the scene. I saw the self-immolator was badly burned. He was unrecognisable."

Free Tibet’s research partner, Tibet Watch, is working to confirm further details of this case.

Protests and sacrifice

This is the second self-immolation in Tibet in 2017. In March, Pema Gyaltsen, a 24-year-old Tibetan farmer, set himself on fire outside Tsokha Monastery, also in Kardze. His condition and whereabouts remain unknown.

Over 140 Tibetans have carried out self-immolation protests in Tibet since 2009. Many of these protests have been fatal.

Self-immolation protests are almost always carried out in response to the Chinese military occupation of Tibet, which has been in force since 1950, as well as human rights abuses and restrictions on Tibet’s religion and culture carried out under Chinese rule.

Take action

Despite China's harsh military occupation Tibetans continue to resist and protest. Within Tibet, rightfully termed an 'open air prison,' Tibetans are punished with harassment, arrest and lengthy prison terms. Take action for Tibet’s political prisoners - write to the Chinese authorities and demand their freedom.