Young monk is the latest Tibetan to self-immolate

29th March 2012

Another Tibetan self-immolates and dies in Chara Township

Last night, a 20-year-old monk named Sherab self-immolated in Chara Township, Ngaba County, in Eastern Tibet. This is the second self-immolation in Chara Township this month. On 5 March an 18-year-old named Dorjee also set himself on fire and died.

Body forcibly removed

Sherab self-immolated in the main street of the township and died at the scene. Military personnel forcibly removed his body over the pleas of local townspeople who wanted it to be returned to his family.

Sherab had returned to his home township from Kirti monastery in Ngaba Town two days before his self-immolation. He had been studying at the monastery, home to a number of monks who have set themselves on fire in protest at China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

Severe military restrictions

Chinese paramilitary forces have now imposed heavy restrictions in the area. The situation in Chara Township and Ngaba Town is very tense.

Update 2 April: Following his self-immolation, Sherab’s body was forcibly removed from the scene by Chinese security forces, despite approximately 100 Tibetan protesters who tried to prevent them doing so.

Many were beaten and arrested and gunshots were reportedly fired into the air. Free Tibet has the names of some of the Tibetans who remain in detention. As in many other cases, injured protesters did not seek treatment at the local government hospital because they feared being detained from there.

With complete disregard for Tibetan tradition, Chinese security forces cremated Sherab’s body on 29 March 2011, with no accompanying religious ceremony. A portion of the ashes was returned to his family.

More than 40 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in protest at the repressive Chinese occupation of their country. See the full list.

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